Violence to be topic for bar owners meeting

Published 12:15 am Tuesday, July 12, 2016

NATCHEZ — In light of recent shootings, local bar and club owners will meet this week to talk about how to prevent violence at their businesses.

Members of the local bar owners’ association will gather at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the board of supervisors’ office to discuss the matter.

Member Sammy Atkins, owner of Andrew’s Tavern, said Club Paradise owner W.C. Curtis contacted him about having a meeting shortly after 49 people were killed in a shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando last month.

Email newsletter signup

The association was due for its quarterly meeting and decided it was needed to give bar and club owners the chance to talk about how they can prevent similar incidents.

“We are just trying to be proactive, instead of reactive,” Atkins said. “We are just trying to get everybody on the same page.”

Atkins said the bar association has procedures in place so owners can contact each other to warn of intoxicated patrons, fighting, domestic disputes or other issues that may spill over into other businesses. The meeting, he said, will allow the association to strengthen that communication.

Club 601 owner Geraldine Minor said she will be attending the meeting.

A woman was shot allegedly by her ex-boyfriend early Sunday morning as the woman was preparing to exit the Club 601 parking lot.

Police Chief Daniel White said the victim was in her vehicle, getting ready to pull out onto Martin Luther King Jr. Street when Armond Shannon, 46, reportedly came to the driver’s side window and shot her. The victim then backed her vehicle back into the club parking lot and sought help from Minor, who contacted police.

Minor said the shooter was standing on the sidewalk and not on her property when he fired at the victim.

The victim was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

While the shooting did not happen in her club, Minor said she is proactive about preventing incidents on her property, including asking police to clear her parking lot of loiterers and making her zero-tolerance stance on drugs known to patrons.

“I don’t tolerate that, and I do what I can,” she said. “I have no control over people on the sidewalk.”