Violence raises questions about owner of clubs

'They are not protecting their patrons,' attorney for victim's family says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One day after a man was shot and killed outside a Westside strip club, News4Jax is asking questions about the club and the man who owns it.

Police said Wednesday morning a man, later identified as Marlon Brice, was shot and killed outside the Silver Fox Lounge on West Beaver Street. The shooting also injured another man.

Another man was killed outside the same club last year, and other murders have happened at similar clubs owned by the same man, Milton Howard.

In 2013, 21-year-old Brandon Green was shot and killed inside Mascara’s nightclub. There were two other shootings at the club less than a year before.

Some are wondering how Howard is able to keep the clubs open, despite their violent histories.

“They don't care. They are running the shady businesses in our town, and certainly people are going to go,” attorney John Phillips said. “They know that there's illicit activity going down but don’t have proper security.”

Phillips represented Brandon Green’s parents in a civil suit against Mascara's. He said that after Green was killed inside the club in 2013, the club began having a private security company keep watch outside, but Phillips said that isn’t always enough.

“They might throw $10 here or there for any private security guard inside, but they are not protecting their patrons,” Phillips said. “People are still going to go and not realize just how unsafe they are. It's frightening.”

Some say that instead of private security, off-duty police officers should be hired to work security at clubs like this.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the department's secondary employment policies require approval for officers if a private company wishes to hire them.

At a place that predominantly serves alcohol, the requirement would be to hire two officers, but those officers would only maintain security around the premises.

Phillips said something has to be done by the clubs.

“They're becoming more dangerous,” he said. “People are more cavalier with guns. People in society generally feel less safe. You've got the guys with guns that are doing illegal things. You better believe they're packing. We've got to make sure they're not.”

JSO is still trying to find the person who shot the two men outside the Silver Fox on Wednesday.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.