MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It was a year ago that a Milwaukee bar owner shot and killed a robbery suspect inside his establishment. The incident at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall made headlines, and ignited a firestorm about gun rights and protection. On Sunday, September 14th, Kochanski's owner, Andy Kochanski marked the anniversary of the shooting by hosting a free concealed carry training class at the bar.
Nearly 100 people packed Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall on Milwaukee's near south side Sunday morning -- for a lesson on guns.
"There`s a fine line when it comes to the things you do with your firearm. You need to know where that line is," Daniel Brooker with Wisconsin Carry, Inc. said.
The free concealed carry training class was organized by Andy Kochanski.
"I was like a poster child, I guess. People looked at what had happened to me, and they thought 'I want to go out and get a gun and defend myself,'" Kochanski said.
It was August 16th, 2013 when police say three men walked into the Concertina Beer Hall. Police say two of the men were armed, and police say they tried to rob Kochanski.
Kochanski says the memories of that day conjure up a specific feeling.
"I guess just being very lucky. Lucky that I was able to calmly do what I did and take control of the situation," Kochanski said.
A 23-year-old man was shot and killed. Another was injured -- and the third fled the scene. Both of those who survived the shooting inside the bar have since been arrested and tried. One was recently acquitted. The second, Jose Munoz, was set to be sentenced last week, but his sentencing has been postponed.
Prosecutors have determined Kochanski acted lawfully and in self-defense.
"I would have done the same thing. It`s a hard choice to make. You don`t want to have to make it -- but it`s your life or theirs," Brooker said.
Kochanski says he hopes to make these concealed carry training classes at the bar an annual event -- in response to what he calls a growing demand.
"They`re feeling empowered to defend themselves. They are sick of what`s going on in the city of Milwaukee and they kind of want to take it back, I guess," Kochanski said.
This was the second concealed carry training class held at the Concertina Beer Hall. The first took place nine days after the shooting.