22-year-old mass shooting victim's family sues Socio 45 Bar, claiming negligence in son's death

Jessica Willey Image
Friday, August 11, 2023
$1M suit filed against after-hours bar where man died in mass shooting
Israel Gonzalez was supposed to be involved in his sister's quinceañera this month, but the shooting at Socio 45 Bar changed all that. His family alleges the bar was negligent.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The mother of a man killed in a mass shooting at an after-hours bar is suing the business where he was shot.

Israel Gonzalez, 22, was one of five people who were shot at about 4:30 a.m. on July 23, but the only person who lost his life.

As Houston police continue their investigation, Gonzalez's mother wants to hold the bar accountable.

"I know I can't bring him back," Cristina Gonzalez said. "But I don't want another family to have this pain."

In the wrongful death lawsuit filed Thursday against Socio 45 Bar, Gonzalez claims the after-hours bar was negligent in several areas: for over-serving alcohol, for serving alcohol after the local cut-off time, for failing to train employees on TABC rules, and for failing to provide proper security.

Police said after an incident in the parking lot, the shooter followed the victims into the bar and opened fire. No one has been arrested and no managers or owners could be located during the scene investigation, HPD said.

When ABC13 stopped by the bar in the 9200 block of the Gulf Freeway Thursday evening, the door was locked. The listed owner could not be reached for comment.

Gonzalez worked in the refineries, as a boilermaker, his mother said. He was a hard worker and helped support his mother and 14-year-old sister, who postponed her August quinceañera because of their grief.

"He was really looking forward to it," Cadence Caballero, Gonzalez's sister, said. "Just feels empty, feels very empty."

His family is seeking more than $1 million.

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