After 1 killed, 4 shot, residents call for club to close

200 people were in club when shots fired early Sunday morning

Author: Elizabeth Campbell, General assignment reporter, ecampbell@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 17 2014 04:27:00 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 17 2014 07:00:39 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

After one person was killed and four others shot inside a Murray Hill club early Sunday morning, residents in the area say something has to be done about the troublesome nightclub.

Joan Bosh, who works and has rental property in the area, said the people who go to Fat Kat Lounge on South Edgewood Avenue cause problems every weekend. She said unfortunately, people who live around the area aren't surprised by the fatal shooting.

"When you let a large group of people just keep on with partying that late at night, it's just something waiting to happen," Bosh said.

Bosh said her tenants won't leave their homes on Saturday nights because of situations like what happened just before 4 a.m. Sunday.

"They're afraid to say anything to them because they've been taunted," Bosh said. "So fear for our life -- I don't know if that's the right word, but it's definitely a fear of not being able to go outside when you want to."

The owner of Fat Kat was unavailable for comment Monday, and because it was a federal holiday, Code Enforcement was closed. As a result, it remains unclear what kind of license the club has and how long it has been in business.

Fat Kat was closed by the city in 2003 after two people were shot at the club.

People in the area are wondering why there were around 200 people at the club when the shooting happened. Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said as long as the club stops serving alcohol at 2 a.m., it can stay open as long as it wants.

Debra Cochran, who lives behind the club, said she had to get new windows installed that would block the loud music. She said she won't feel safe until the club is closed.

"That's just what they need to do, close this club so that it can be peaceful over here and nobody has to worry about shootings, people getting hurt, beat up," Cochran said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was also unavailable to provide victim or other information Monday because of the holiday. It's unclear if any arrests have been made.

Jefferson said JSO has nothing to do with the closing of the establishment. He said that's in the hands of the owner and that as long as the club is following the rules, it can stay open as long as it wants.

Jefferson said really the only way the club would close is from pressure from the community.