La Crosse man faces three charges for bar shooting

Taylor Johnson

LA CROSSE, Wis (WKBT) – A La Crosse man was accused of shooting a gun outside Arterial Bar on Sunday.

32-year-old Taylor Johnson is facing three charges, including second-degree recklessly endangering safety, which is a felony. He was also charged with possession of a firearm while intoxicated and carrying a handgun where alcohol is sold and consumed, both of which are Class A misdemeanors.

According to the criminal complaint, the La Crosse Police Department responded to a report at 12:38 a.m. Sunday of “four to five shots” fired from the parking lot of the Arterial. Police arrived to see multiple people exiting the bar, including a man who met the description of the shooter and got into the passenger side of a red sedan. The driver fled the scene.

Witnesses say a man — later identified as Johnson — was arguing with two other men inside and pulled out a gun about half an hour before the shooting. He then backed slowly down the hallway and went into the bathroom. Video surveillance shows Johnson leave the bar from the south entrance, light a cigarette and take out the handgun. According to the complaint, he fired two rounds into the air, another across the street, then a third into the air, before going back inside the bar.

Johnson left the scene as police arrived, but the vehicle he was in was pulled over shortly later and Johnson was arrested. Police found a .45 caliber American Tactical Titan pistol and three unspent .45 gold Winchester rounds in the vehicle. The driver, who was also the owner of the vehicle, told police he did not know Johnson had a gun until the bartender told him his friend was outside shooting and he needed to take him home. The driver said he didn’t know there was a gun in his car and he doesn’t own a gun.

According to the criminal complaint, Johnson had a .141 BAC when he was taken to the jail.

Officers found shell casings for gold Winchester .45 automatic ammunition at the scene.

La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge Scott Horne set a $1,000 cash bond.