55ºF

Nightclub's owner would gladly pay for cops to keep patrons safe

Young man shot, killed early Wednesday morning outside Silver Fox

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Just over 48 hours after a man was shot and killed outside a Westside nightclub, the manager and soon-to-be owner of the club said this wouldn't have happened if Jacksonville Sheriff's Office allowed its employees to work there off-duty.

The shooting about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of the Silver Fox. A man in his 20s was shot just after being ejected from the club for fighting. 

Private security was present, but not the law enforcement officers the owner said he would gladly hire to ensure the safety of his customers.

Jacksonville officers are not allowed to work on- or off-duty at adult entertainment businesses. Silver Fox manager James Bailey said he'd be willing to pay for three officers to work at the club.

Bailey said his club had 15 cameras inside, several of which recorded the fight. The video showed those involved in the fight being escorted out, and shortly after, dozens of people running back inside to escape the gunfire in the parking lot.

"We need the same protection that everyone else needs, as far as a business owner, and the right to hire officers is something we desperately need," Bailey said. "I think until that presence is here, we're still going to have things like this that can occur, even though we have our ... armed officers that are out here, but they're not JSO."

Bailey told News4Jax that he is meeting with Sheriff Mike Williams within the week to discuss the possibility of modifying the policy.

Wednesday morning's shooting was the fourth shooting at the Silver Fox in the past 15 years. Shootings last year and in 2002 resulted in deaths.

Bailey has also be in contact with the family of the victim.

"They are definitely heartbroken that this would happen ... but at the same time, I think they're just in deep mourning right now, and it's just a hurtful thing," Bailey said.