Bluegrass musician killed in drive-by shooting outside Winona bar


A man killed in a drive-by shooting in Winona overnight has been identified as a musician for a popular local bluegrass-folk group.

Robert "Bob" Johnson, 53, was shot in the torso outside EB's Corner at 700 West 5th St. just after 1 a.m. A 27-year-old man meanwhile was shot in the leg, according to a Winona police news release.

Johnson was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

He has been identified as a member of Beet Root Stew, a Winona-based bluegrass band which on Wednesday posted this on its Facebook page.


Tributes were paid to Johnson on the group's Facebook page, with one commenter saying: "One of my most favorite shows from my entire life of music took place at Ed's with Those Damn Horses in the company of Beet Root Stew. This is so crushingly sad that I'm at a loss for words...I'm so sorry."

Bandmate Wes McRaven told the Star Tribune that Johnson was a talented musician capable of playing the banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica and piano – and had been splitting his time between Winona and working on an oil rig in Alaska.

"He was getting ready to retire," he told the newspaper. "He had about 30 years in."

Johnson was hit by a bullet fired from a vehicle driving past the bar, with witnesses giving police officers a description of the car that was later found at an apartment complex on West 3rd Street.

There they arrested a 49-year-old man without incident.

The suspect is being held at Winona County Jail on suspicion of second-degree homicide and second-degree assault.

EB's Corner had this to say on Wednesday morning, posting on Facebook:

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