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Suit filed over shooting that killed 2 at Underground Atlanta rap show

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of one of the victims who died in a shooting at The Masquerade in Underground Atlanta.

Ewell Ynoa, 21, and Giovan Diaz, 22, died on Nov. 12, 2017, when a man allegedly fired into the crowd during a performance by the rapper Cousin Stizz. The suit, filed by the administrator of Ynoa’s estate, Rachel St. Fleur, alleges that better security could’ve prevented the shooting.

Efforts to reach The Masquerade for comment weren’t immediately successful Monday. The venue is the first defendant of some 20 defendants accused of fault in the suit, which was filed in DeKalb State Court because the owner lives in the county.

Alleged shooter Jonathan Bautista, 23, has been charged with murder in both deaths but isn’t listed among the defendants.


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Just before 9:40 p.m. that Sunday, authorities responded to The Masquerade, where a total of four people had been shot. Police have said two of the four victims got rowdy and climbed onto the stage during a break.

“Another patron took issue and an argument ensued,” police officer Lisa Bender said at the time.

The patron pulled out a pistol and fired, according to police. 

The suit says crime in the area of the venue, as well as the natural dangers of large concerts where alcohol is served, should’ve put those responsible for the show on notice to have strong security.

“Moreover,” the suit says, “recent, tragic, mass shooting events in nightclubs, schools, and other sensitive establishments across the world, resulting in thousands of needless deaths...clearly demonstrate the severity of risk posed if the Defendants fail to institute critical measures and security safeguards...”

The suit asks for damages determined at trial.


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