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Devon Strouss's Family Says 19 Bar Shooting Was Self-Defense

Strouss (right) was being beaten by a group of people when he opened fire, his family says.

Strouss (right) was being beaten by a group of people when he opened fire, his family says.

:::: UPDATE :::: 19 Bar Owner Says Alleged Shooter Devon Strouss's "Self -Defense" Claim is BS

The criminal complaint charging Devon Strouss with three felonies in connection with last week's shooting at the legendary 19 Bar gay bar makes the case seem open and shut -- the official narrative says Strouss was drunk, belligerent, and opened fire outside the bar for no good reason after he was kicked out, injuring two.

But his family says there's more to the story, and for that reason, a Hennepin County judge decided to free Strouss Monday after he posted $2,500 bail.

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A source near Strouss's family sent us an email yesterday and said his bail was lowered "because of new evidence."

Namely: "There's a video of people knocking Devon down and relentlessly beating him and kicking him, and his dog, and wouldn't stop," the email says.

"So he fired his gun in self-defense, not at a certain person, but just fired it to scare them to stop," our source continues. "It was an accident that he shot someone."

On a related note, when contacted yesterday, Hennepin County officials told us Strouss's mugshot still isn't being released publicly. Why? "Because he has bruises and scrapes all over his face and neck," our source claims.

It should be noted that even if what we're hearing from people near Strouss is true, he could still find himself in hot water -- aimlessly shooting a gun while drunk likely constitutes reckless discharge of a firearm, which is a felony.

We contacted the 19 Bar yesterday afternoon to hear what witnesses connected with the Loring Park-area establishment have to say about the Strouss family's version of events. A manager who answered the phone said he wasn't there when the shooting occurred, but would pass our inquiry along to somebody who was. We haven't heard back as this is published.

Officials in the Hennepin County Attorney's Office also couldn't immediately shed any additional light on the situation.

Yesterday afternoon, Strouss's lawyer, James Hanvik, told us he had "only been retained a short time ago."

"It's difficult when somebody is in custody to have much in the way of a meaningful conversation," he continued. "I haven't had the chance to talk to him in any kind of detail yet."

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.