City Investigates Future Of Business After Mass Shooting

Posted at 11:05 PM, Oct 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-08 23:05:43-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. – Should the site of a mass shooting in Muskegon be able to keep its liquor license?  That was the question posed to the Muskegon City Commission by Jeffery Lewis, the Chief of the Department of Public Safety on Tuesday, Oct. 8th.

After a vote, the city commission appointed an independent person to help answer that question.

The decision comes two weeks after three people were killed and another four were injured in a shooting outside the Elks Charity Lodge on Ottawa Street, a crime police continue to investigate.

There is no question how Shelonda Brown, the mother of one of those victims, Jacoby Brown, feels about the Elks Charity Lodge, “I just really hope they shut it down.”

Her son, along with Jalisa Love and Dupree Barnes were killed outside the lodge late last month.  Four others were injured.

Browns aunt, Tiffany Buchanan, also has strong feelings about the lodge’s responsibility that night, “You are supposed to protect anyone that comes into your establishment if you are an owner,” she said.  “They didn’t do that that night.”

Since the shooting, the lodge has remained closed.  The State Liquor Control Commission suspended its liquor license.  Tuesday night, all but one member of the city commission voted to have an independent investigation to see if the lodge should even re-open at all.

“The club is not operating right now, which has helped us as far as not having any other retaliation or any incidents down there,” said Lewis.

In the past 9-months, police have responded to more than 21 calls for assistance at the club including two shootings.

The chief said there could be other problems at the club as well, “We are going to make sure they have the proper affiliation with the Elks parent corporation and make sure they have their 501C3 charitable paperwork in line.”

Representatives from the lodge were at the meeting on Tuesday but had no comment.  Police continue the search for whoever is responsible for the mass shooting.  The chief said members of the Elks Charity Lodge have cooperated in the investigation so far, even offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest in the shootings.

Silent observer is also offering $2,500 for a total of $3,000.  Anyone with information is asked to call (231) 72-CRIME.