Residents petition to close violence plagued nightclub - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Residents petition to close violence plagued nightclub

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Early Sunday morning gunfire erupted inside a Jackson nightclub.

Three people including a teenager were shot.

Carlos Gray, 32, died from his injuries.

Now some in the area want the Purple Passion to close its doors for good.

Weeks before Carlos Gray was fatally wounded inside the Purple Passion night club, residents were lobbying to shut down permanently.

A Jackson woman, who doesn't want to be identified, will be called "Janet".

She gathered nearly 500 signatures on petition demanding the club's closure.

"My brother was killed here 3 years ago so I just want it closed," "Janet" said.

The 39 year old said her brother, James Bridgeman, was shot and killed by a security guard at the club.

Bridgeman was 31 years old.

"Its a nuisance to our community. It's so many people that have died at that club, it's ridiculous. The violence goes back from when it was Williams lounge," "Janet" said. "A friend of mine, Patrick Stewart, was killed. So it's just not happening now. It's been going on for a long, long time."

"In March, we sent a memo to the Legal Department asking them to declare Purple Passion as a nuisance, and it's my understanding there should be a hearing before one of the chancery judges this week," Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes said.

The city council member said constituents have repeatedly told him of violence at the club ranging from shootings and stabbings to accusations of security guards knocking out one man's front teeth.

Members of nearby Greater Mt. Mariah Church also signed the petition.

Rev. Curtis Houston has been leader of the 500 member congregation for 41 years.

Rev. Houston says the club needs to close because it is associated with too much violence in the community.

"Get rid of the club so we can be at ease," Rev. Houston said. "Two years ago we had a shooting come from right over there. A bullet come right there and hit that house there."

Those bullet holes remain near the door of the church parsonage.

The pastor said a wrought iron fence was erected around the church 7 years ago when violence began to escalate in the area.

The name "Purple Passion" no longer appears on the building.

According to Jackson Police, the club has also been called Block 2 Block.

So far this year alone J.P.D. Officers have responded to 23 calls to the club.

Their last call involved the shooting of Gray, 25 year old Kawun Fisher and an unidentified 16 year old.

Investigators said the teenager underwent surgery for life threatening injuries.

"The person that was killed was a friend of mine, so it just really brought back memories," "Janet" said.

The determined Jackson resident turned in the petition to Mayor Harvey Johnson's office and is awaiting court action.

We have been unable to reach club owners for comment.

No arrests have been made in connection with the shootings.

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