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Brawl at Quarter Bar Leads to Accidental Shooting

James “Bo” Beams is loaded into an ambulance after being shot by close friend Crystal Davis Friday night.

Just before 11:30pm Friday Columbus Police responded to a shooting at “The Quarter” bar at 1320 Hwy 69 South. Witnesses told police a fight broke out between two women that quickly lead to an all-out bar room brawl. A bartender working that night, 33 year old Crystal Bowen Davis, reportedly got a silver and black Ruger .45 caliber handgun from behind the bar. Davis then walked toward the melee that was taking place in the adjacent billiards room; in what co-workers say was an attempt to bring the owner of the bar, Michael Phillips, the gun.

Multiple witnesses told The Packet reporters that the group that instigated the fight was throwing pool balls and breaking beer bottles, reportedly attacking innocent patrons.
Although witness accounts differ, it seems 32 yr old James “Bo” Beams attempted to stop another female –identified in the attached letter as Stephanie Cantrel- from attacking Davis before she was able to get the gun to Phillips.
During the struggle the gun fired and Beams was shot in the upper left shoulder. The Columbus Police Department arrived on scene as the bar patrons flooded into the parking lot fleeing the violence. Officers secured the scene and apprehended the shooter, identified as Crystal Bowen Davis by witnesses. Officers detained as many witnesses as possible but many had already left the area before the police arrived
Beams had a major gunshot wound but never lost consciousness. The bar owner, Michael Phillips maintained pressure on Beams wound until EMTs arrived and took over. Beams was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital for treatment of a .45 caliber gunshot wound at close range.
Bo Beams was calm as he was taken to the ambulance, and reportedly asked Columbus police not to charge Davis, as he claimed they were good friends and it was an accident.
Davis was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault w/Weapon, and released Saturday morning. Columbus Police could not confirm as of Wednesday that the shot fired had come during the struggle noting that the investigation was still ongoing.
Michael Phillips, owner of The Quarter Bar, spoke to The Packet last night hoping to better explain the situation:
“There were eight or nine of them, and just us …I hate to say it, but if the gun hadn’t gone off, we’d all prolly be in much worse shape. That place erupted for at least ten minutes. Bo and Crystal are great friends –best friends – Bo’s wife was by his side when it happened, and she knows it was an accident. I just want to get this whole thing cleared up, she didn’t mean to shoot anyone.”

Crystal Bowen Davis crying in the back of a Patrol car after accidentally shooting her friend "Bo" Beams.

Phillips prepared the following statement of his account of the shooting:
Friday, January 21, started out normally enough for a Friday night, though the crowd wasn’t as large as usual. The Dart Tourney had ended and a few players had started a singles tourney and it was winding down. Karaoke had been going on since 8:00 pm and a few people had complained about a woman sitting at the long table in front of the stage. She was making a really irritating squeal and 3 or 4 patrons had already left because of it. I asked her if she could tone it down some. Her friend asked me not to make her leave cause she hadn’t been out for a long time. I told her I wasn’t going to make her leave, just tone it down a little. I left the table a walked in the pool room for a minute, turned around and came back in. I saw a “Regular” female on the floor. I helped her up and just got that she had been pulled off her stool by the woman that I had just talked to. When I saw my bartender attacked by this same woman. I went her aid, and saw another patron attacked a few feet away, and then another. These were not one on one, but two/three to one. I realized there was no way to get order and control the situation. The “Good Guys” were out numbered. I went to the stage got a mic and announced that the bar was closed and told everyone to leave. I started back to the pool room and was taken down from behind by three of the low lifes from the same table. Luckily I still had a few friends still in the room and they came to my rescue. As I got up I saw my bartender being attacked again. She handled the situation. I moved to the pool room to try and get everyone out, but the group from the big table weren’t done. They were like wild animals with a bloodlust, throwing pool balls and swinging beer bottles at anyone not in their pack.
I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure that Crystal was afraid for my life (we were out numbered 3/1) and that is why she went to get my gun from the back room to try to bring it to me, but as she walked in the pool room holding the gun to the ceiling, Stephanie Cantrel grabbed it. Crystal held on to the gun with a death grip knowing if they got the gun it would be really bad for the home team. They struggled and pulled the gun back over her shoulder with Stephanie still hanging on to it. Crystal had her back to Bo & I and the gun was pointed in our direction. Bo was closer and grabbed it, but instantly realized it was a bad move let go & shifted right as I saw the muzzle flash. The sound of the .45 seemed to bring the animals who were attacking us to there senses and they scattered to leave me to tend to my friend, Bo, who was shot point blank just above the collar bone.
Crystal & Bo are best friends and each of them spent the evening worried about each other. Crystal had no intentions to shoot anyone – least of all Bo.
Michael Phillips
Owner of the Quarter Bar


  1. ozzy

    I want to add that Bo and Crystal are good people. They are best friends and the shooting was an accident that occurred while they were trying to stop the brawl. There are still rumors going around and people trying to shut it down but the bar is still open and I want everyone to know its not a dangerous place. It has a great friendly atmosphere and I will continue to go regularly, I feel very comfortable there.

  2. Jared Heflin

    Stay at home where you should be and you probably won’t get shot. Hang out in bad places expect bad things.

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