Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said a truck driver making a beer delivery found 68-year-old Roosevelt Hinton unresponsive inside the Get-A-Way Lounge on Wilkinson Boulevard at about 2 p.m.
The driver told police that before he went inside the bar, he saw a man walk out of the business, get into a black coupe and head toward Gastonia on Wilkinson. The driver said he then went inside and found Hinton.
In January, police were also called to a shooting at the Get-A-Way Lounge. Officers said in that case, two men were kicked out of the bar and later returned. One of them started shooting, hitting a customer and an employee.
Police said Hinton pulled his own gun and critically wounded one of the men. Hinton was not charged, as police determined that he fired in self-defense.
Some people who knew Hinton wondered if Thursday's shooting was connected to the incident in January.
"Might have been something from the fight in the past," said Mark Brown, who owns a business nearby. "Somebody come back and shot him because of it."
Capt. Coert Voorhies said investigators aren't ruling anything out in the case.
"We look into everything when we're investigating these things," he said. "It's very unusual to have a call out here during the day."
DeDe Craig-Orange said Hinton was like a father to her and many others in the community. Despite her grief, she had a message for the person who took his life.
"Turn yourself in, because this is a senseless murder and you didn't have to do that," Craig-Orange said.
Hinton leaves behind a wife and three children.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.