Bartender charged after serving liquor to mass shooter

A Texas bartender who served an inebriated man who later went on a shooting spree in 2017 has been charged with violating the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Code, which punishes those who, “with criminal negligence,” sell an alcoholic beverage to an “habitual drunkard or an intoxicated or insane person.”

Lindsey Glass, a bartender at Local Public House in Plano, was arrested on April 30, NBC DFW reports. She faces a fine of $500 and potentially a year in jail if convicted. 

Glass allegedly continued to serve Spencer Hight, 32, after he showed signs of being drunk, according to a report compiled by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) last year. Hight, who had a blood alcohol level four times the state’s legal limit, later drove to his estranged wife’s home and shot her and seven other people while they were watching a Dallas Cowboys game. He was killed by police who responded to the scene. 

Text messages between Glass and another bartender revealed she was disturbed by Hight’s behavior just before the mass shooting occurred.

“Spencer has a big knife on the bar and is spinning it and just asked for his tab and said I have to go do some dirty work…Psychoooooooo,” she wrote. 

Investigators and officials have stated that Glass should have known better than to continue serving Hight since she was trained to avoid selling alcohol to drunk customers. Glass had completed certifications approved by TABC, according to an affidavit. 

The bartender’s lawyer, Scott Palmer, argued that his client did, in fact, act responsibly in trying to stop Hight.

“Lindsey Glass is the person who called 911,” Palmer said in a statement. “Not only did she know Spencer but she was friends with [his wife] Meredith and was supposed to be at the party that evening.” 

It is unclear when exactly Glass called the police. 

Last year, Glass’ bar lost its liquor license after TABC determined that employees failed to notify police when Hight reportedly displayed weapons in front of staff. The commission said, at the time, that it was up to local officials to  decide whether to file criminal charges against the bar. 

“This case shows the critically important role that TABC-licensed businesses play in upholding public safety,” TABC’s executive director Bentley Nettles said. “Anyone, including customers, business owners, or employees, should contact their local police any time they suspect a threat to the public. In some cases, shootings like this can be stopped before a life is lost.”