Nightclub shooting sparks renewed debate on nuisance businesses

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg County law enforcement are linking a shooting at a nightclub and a deadly crash not long after through gang violence.

Now the sheriff’s office is renewing a call for a nightclub ordinance, which would give them the power to shutdown nuisance bars.

The shooting happened Friday night inside Club Rehab.

Last year when the nightclub was under the name “Gravy’s Grill,” it was the scene of a fatal shooting.

Billy Webber bought the place three months ago. He said Friday, as always, he had off duty officers there, and he said they helped curb the violence.

“How those guys responded was amazing, and I think that’s more important than anything is having bar owners [and] entertainment venue owners have an open door relationship with law enforcement, to prevent things like this from happening. So it is isolated and I’m 100% for that,” said Webber.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s office is connecting the shooting to a fatal crash on I-26 Sunday that claimed the life of Jerferron Talbert, 29, of Ware Shoals.

Investigators called it a gang related retaliation.

It was back in March that the sheriff’s office originally asked county council to pass an ordinance that would give them the authority to shut down nightclubs that were the scene of repeated violence.

That ordinance would also require night clubs to have video cameras security guards and metal detectors.

Webber says he already has all of that, but says giving the Sheriff’s office authority to shut down establishments goes too far.

County Councilman Michael Brown said he’s working with the Safety Committee on a nuisance ordinance that he hopes will satisfy both sides.

“It gives the Sheriff’s office some more teeth than what they have to address situations right now,” said Brown.

Still it would stop short of letting the sheriff’s office have full authority to shut down businesses.

Webber, who also owned the bar Chief’s for the last three years without any shootings, said the latest violence is rare and came from people outside the county.

“This is isolated. It’s people from outside the community, bringing their problems here. But ultimately, in this City of Spartanburg, I feel 100% confident of the citizens here and what we represent,” Webber said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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