Community urges nightclub to beef up security following weekend shooting

Seven people were shot over the weekend at Cole's Place, but fortunately, nobody was seriously...
Seven people were shot over the weekend at Cole's Place, but fortunately, nobody was seriously injured. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Published: Mar. 19, 2018 at 10:08 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 19, 2018 at 10:49 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Seven people were shot at a Louisville nightclub over the weekend, and now, community leaders are talking about what needs to happen to make Cole's Place a safer place.

That shooting happened early Saturday morning at the nightclub just off West Kentucky Street in the Parkland neighborhood. All of the victims suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. Videos surfaced quickly showing the chaos inside when multiple shots rang out. As of Monday, police are still trying to figure out who the gunman was.

Club owner John Cole declined to talk on camera but he told WAVE 3 News there was security that night with off-duty officers and bouncers.

Neighbor Emory Henderson said he was not at Cole's Place on Saturday but he heard the gunshots.
"Anytime we hear gunshots around here, which is quite frequent, I have the kids hit the floor to stay low, stay away from windows," he said. "Just how we live around here, we have to be that way."

Saturday's incident wasn't the first time there has been a shooting at Cole's Place. The venue said it's a destination for baby and bridal showers, wedding receptions, and birthday parties. There are signs indicating that guns are prohibited. But, somehow they make their way in.

The Rev. Charles Elliott stopped by Cole's on Monday to show support for its owner.

"We got shootings and problems all over the city," Elliott said. "We don't want to look like this is the worst place to come. Cole has been involved in heaviness in the community."

Councilwoman Jessica Green shares that sentiment.

"John Cole is a good man," she said.

Green added that her No. 1 priority is public safety, and that there is room for improvement at Cole's.

Cole's Place said in a statement that it is replacing its old security with new security.

Green said along with the private security team hired who pat people down, there are metal detectors at Cole's Place and there were also six off-duty police officers working early Saturday morning outside the club.

Green said she would like to see more off-duty officers checking patrons at the club entrance.

"Easiest way to me is to shift who is at the front door and us to have licensed officers doing a security detail," Green said. "I'm not quite sure if they can be inside because of regulations."

An LMPD spokesperson said off-duty officers can't work inside nightclubs, as they aren't bouncers.

Green added that she is going to continue to have conversations with Cole and LMPD about what can be done.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.