Some local businesses and residents are frustrated after sources say a massive fight in Shockoe Bottom stemmed from an event at a nearby club. Police sources say groups of people started arguing inside The Canal Club, which was having a DJ night.
Just after two o'clock Monday morning, that fight came out of the club and into the parking lot at 15th and East Cary, where guns were drawn and shots were fired, according to sources.
Officers raced to the 1500 block of East Cary Street. Sources say as they approached the club they heard gunshots ringing out and actually witnessed a man shooting a gun.
Residents in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood are on edge after hearing the news.
"That is unbelievable to me because my kids come down here," Brooke Student said.
Officers arrested Melvin Jones and another man and seized two firearms.
"I hate the thought of them going into places and something like that happening and them being involved and getting hurt in some kind of way so yeah, that angers me a little bit," Student added.
David Napier with the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association was fuming after learning the fight started at a Sunday night Canal Club event, he says has been at the heart of many dangerous incidents.
"We have a lot of problems with that event," Napier said. "They are irresponsible in doing it. They said they would stop doing it after we had problems a year or two ago and since they started it back up again the same exact problems."
The neighborhood association says it's now taking action and after Sunday night's incident. Monday, they said they would file a written complaint with Virginia ABC.
"We're going to aggressively go after them in every way we can," Napier explained.
This isn't the first time Canal Club has been on ABC and the police department radars. We found a laundry list of offenses including disorderly conduct, bad records keeping and failure to sell enough food under its license. Last year, at another Sunday night event, gunshots were fired inside the club.
Now, Napier believes this is the final straw.
"We want them to stop and we will make them stop," he added.
After our story aired at 5:30, the Canal Club owner returned our phone calls and emails. She says they had no inkling there would be incidents after people left Sunday night. She explains it was a smooth night and the club has security. We are still waiting to hear back from the officer in charge of making assignments at the club.
Anyone with any information about this incident is still asked to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.
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