Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

1 Killed, 4 Wounded in Shooting in Murray Hill; Neighboring Businesses Concerned about Incidents at Fat Kat Club

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

1 Killed, 4 Wounded in Shooting in Murray Hill; Neighboring Businesses Concerned about Incidents at Fat Kat Club

Article excerpt

Byline: Teresa Stepzinski

One person died and four others were wounded, including one hospitalized in critical condition, when gunfire erupted inside a packed Murray Hill nightclub early Sunday.

Jacksonville police have reported no arrests nor named any suspects in the multiple shootings about 4 a.m. inside Fat Kat, 1187 S. Edgewood Ave., which has been the scene of previous shootings.

More than 200 people were inside Fat Kat when off-duty patrol officers working outside the nightclub heard gunshots fired inside the business and reported it. The preliminary investigation showed four of the victims, including the one who died, were taken in a private vehicle to the hospital. The person with life-threatening injuries was transported by Jacksonville Fire Rescue, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Fear lingered in the neighborhood hours after the police took down the crime-scene tape that had cordoned a one-block section of South Edgewood at Roosevelt Boulevard containing Fat Kat and a variety of small businesses, including a tavern where locals shared a family-style potluck featuring homemade barbecue and pasta.

"As a business owner, I'm extremely concerned about it, and have had concerns for quite a while," said Karen Nigara, who owns The Alibi tavern across the street from Fat Kat.

Nigara said the shootings at Fat Kat affect her business.

"My regular customers are somewhat intimidated to come in here on the nights that the club has events, so they shy away from coming," Nigara said. "It's perceived, whether it's true or not, by many people in the neighborhood and my regular customers that it's a dangerous crowd over there. And obviously from last night, it is dangerous."

The nightclub's management couldn't be reached for comment Sunday.

It's fine that the club has off-duty police officers as part of its security, but "what good does it do?" said Nigara, who's owned the tavern for seven years.

George and Sharon Higginbotham are among those from the neighborhood who come to the tavern. …

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