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Mother of gunshot victim questions bar's security measures

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 17:56:51-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Raquel Robelin says a shooting that left her son critically injured inside a nightclub could have been prevented if stronger security measures were in place. Police say Ruben Robelin was an innocent bystander when a confrontation between other people turned into a shooting.

He was hospitalized in critical condition for the Dec. 28 incident. Robelin says she got a phone call at 1:30a.m. that no mother wants to receive.

"(I) was just hysterical, asking 'Where is my son? This is his name. I heard he was shot. I'm not sure what's going on,'" she said.

Robelin added, "My main question was 'is there any fatalities?' Ya know, I just wanted to know was my son alive?"

She says Ruben, a business accountant from Chicago, was in town visiting family for the holidays and had gone out to the Metro Bar in Grand Rapids. Police say Ruben was caught in the crossfire, shot in the abdomen during a confrontation he had nothing to do with. It put him in critical condition.

His mother learned another patron performed CPR. She believes that person may have spared her son's life as well as medical staff.

"It's amazing. They're calling him a miracle patient at the hospital. The surgeon went up after had got the ventilator off and wanted to meet him," Robelin said.

She says ultimately "it was just nothing but prayer and God that saved his life."

As her son fights to improve, she's calling on Metro Bar to improve its security measures because she believes someone there dropped the ball. She started a petition garnering thousands of signatures in support.

"The petition is to just bring awareness about how security works in these bars. Like, I just don't feel it's too secure... a lot of these (bars)," she said. "They're not doing their job well. I don't know if they need to be trained more. I don't know if they're letting friends in with weapons. I don't know if they're being paid."

FOX 17 spoke with the bar manager who declined an on-camera interview. However, she says security is the bar's biggest investment and top priority. She says people are searched, everyone's ID is scanned and the bar has 27 surveillance cameras. The manager says this is an unfortunate situation, the bar is cooperating with the police and their prayers are with the family.

There is also a GoFundMe set up for Ruben`s medical expenses.

No arrests have been made. If you have any information call police or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.