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Nightclub owner's friend says gun violence is issue with city, not 9ine Ultra

9ine ultra lounge.jpg
Posted at 3:10 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 16:10:47-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo — A friend of the man who owns 9ine Ultra Lounge, the nightclub where two people were shot and 15 injured Sunday night, said the shooting didn't happen because of an issue with the club, but an issue with the community.

According to state business filings, 9ine Ultra Lounge is registered to Alphonso Hodge. Hodge was on the Kansas City Chiefs roster in 2005.

City leaders are deciding whether or not the club will be deemed a nuisance.

Last week, Kansas City police were at the club after a drive-by shooting happened in the parking lot.

Officers said they were keeping an eye on 9ine Ultra Lounge Sunday night as Chiefs fans celebrated the team's AFC Championship win. A KCPD sergeant left the club's parking lots less than a minute before the first reports of the shooting we called in.

On Monday, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas discussed plans moving forward.

"We've dealt with these sorts of issues before, with clubs that are consistent nuisance creators in our community," Lucas said. "Nuisance can be a number of different things, but that includes violent crime, it uses city resources, police resources consistently and that's another tool that we have in, I believe, fighting violent crime and addressing this issue long-term."

Jamel Sims, who works next door to 9ine Ultra and is a friend of the club owner, said he's surprised this happened at the nightclub. He said while it's an unfortunate event, the community as a whole needs to do better.

"It's very unfortunate," Sims said. "But you know, not just here, but the whole city. That's the one thing that I hope people do. I hope people spotlight the city and more or less the fact that we have some growing up to do. We got to come together and make it right."

Sims said the owner was trying to bring something positive to the area.

"He's been promoter, an owner," Sims said. "He enjoys giving people something to do."

Sims said he wants to shed light on the fact the shooting wasn't a club issue, but a community issue. He urged Kansas Citians to do better to keep the city moving forward.

"There's a lot of people that have to deal with the aftermath of things that happen like this," Sims said. "It should be a celebration, but now we're trying to figure out next steps in regards to how do we celebrate things?"

If the city does deem the club a nuisance, it could lose its liquor license.

"City leadership will look at this club, will consider whether it is a nuisance if it meets those standards," Lucas said. "Then we have remedies up to and including temporary revocation of the license, and then the club would have opportunity for a notice, then a hearing thereafter."

9ine Ultra Lounge released a statement on its social media accounts which read, in part: "The 9ine Ultra Lounge family and organization is deeply saddened by the unsavory tragic act of one individual last night. Our deepest sympathies go out to the injured, the deceased and their loved ones."

"Our organization does not believe senseless violence is the answer to resolve any problem," the statement continued.

The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Raeven Parks.

An armed guard shot and killed the suspected shooter, Jahron Swift, who had a past weapons charge dropped after lawmakers loosened the state's gun laws.