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Watertown city police investigating apparent State Street shooting

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James B. Mann, owner of JM Billiards, closed up shop about midnight Friday and did some cleaning before heading two doors down to Seth’s Pub for a couple of drinks and a game of pool.

He and his friend, an off-duty bouncer, were playing together against two opponents. He had just gotten off his first shot when pandemonium broke loose.

“I looked for my friend ... He was already at the door dealing with the situation,” Mr. Mann said.

About 1 a.m. Saturday, a shooting was reported at the corner of High and State streets, according to Watertown city police.

The apparent victim, a 29-year-old man, reportedly walked up to the pub complaining of a gunshot wound.

He was treated on the scene by an off-duty soldier, who helped to stop the bleeding, according to Mr. Mann. The victim was transported to Upstate Medical University in Syracuse after police and emergency personnel arrived.

The victim’s name has not been released, though police said his injuries were not life-threatening.

Police are investigating the incident.

“Patrol officers and detectives are working on leads,” Detective Sgt. Joseph R. Donaghue said late Saturday morning.

Mr. Mann said police questioned a few patrons early Saturday and took down everyone else’s information.

There were about 25 people at the pub before the incident, some of whom ran out the back door when police arrived, according to Mr. Mann.

He said he finally left Seth’s Pub about 3 a.m.

Karen L. Coppola lives at 114 High St., behind Jreck Subs and just a few doors away from the State Street intersection.

She said she heard no gunshots, just sirens.

Thinking it was an accident, Ms. Coppola went outside.

“It was a kind of eerie atmosphere,” she said. “There were no spectators or onlookers. The police were shooing everybody away. I heard something about a shooting and I said to my daughter, ‘Come on, let’s go back inside.’”

Ms. Coppola, who is originally from Saratoga, has lived in Watertown for 10 years and at her current address for a little less than a year.

She said she feels safe in her neighborhood.

“I’ve never felt unsafe here. I’ve never had a problem telling my kids, ‘Here’s ten bucks, run over to Jreck’s for some subs,’” she said.

But now, she may not let her children out at night if she can help it, though she acknowledged that bad things can happen at any time.

“This kind of makes you think twice,” she said.

Police are asking anyone who has information about the incident or was in the area at the time to call the Watertown Police Department at 782-2233.

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