Man shot and killed at Club Cedar in Russell neighborhood was ci - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Man shot and killed at Club Cedar in Russell neighborhood was city employee

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Police responded to a shooting in the parking lot of Club Cedar in the Russell neighborhood on Oct. 6. Police responded to a shooting in the parking lot of Club Cedar in the Russell neighborhood on Oct. 6.
A crowd of people gathered outside Club Cedar after a man was fatally shot on Oct. 6. A crowd of people gathered outside Club Cedar after a man was fatally shot on Oct. 6.
Joseph "Keith" Otis Joseph "Keith" Otis

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Jefferson County Coroner's Office has identified a man who was shot in killed at a nightclub in the Russell neighborhood late Tuesday.

That man has been identified as 55-year-old Joseph Keith Otis. The official cause of death is listed as a gunshot wound.

City officials say Otis was a Metro Public Works employee. Otis had worked as a garbage handler and garbage truck driver since May 2013. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Keith’s family and friends,” Vanessa Burns, Director of Metro Public Works said. “He will be missed by his co-workers.”

Police received a call about a shooting at Club Cedar on 26th Street just before 9 p.m.

Keith Otis was found in the back parking lot and died at the scene.

Police have not yet made an arrest.

"I got anger, anger out the max. I hope they catch him before anybody else do because if they don't, he's a dead man," said Fred Dougherty, a close friend to Keith Otis.

Fred Dougherty says he was best friends with Otis, who went by "Kee-Kee" to those close to him.

Dougherty says he went to Club Cedar often.

"Kee-Kee never hurt nobody. Always minding his own business. He'll take up for people but he minds his own business," said Dougherty.

The shooting not only hit friends and family hard, but close neighbors.

The victim was well known in his neighborhood.

"The neighbor across the street, she just kinda caved in. It's just so shocking. It still hasn't settled with us," said neighbor Carrie Anthony.

One man who lives next to the club says kids were playing nearby and heard the gunshots.

He calls this a senseless shooting.

"You going to the club to drink and have a good time. Why you got to shoot? Why you even bringing a gun with you? For what? You're expecting something to happen. No. Quit it," said Thomas Story, who lives next to Club Cedar.

As for friends of Keith Otis, they're hoping for a quick arrest in the case.

"An eye for an eye, cause that was senseless. That was senseless," said Dougherty.

Police believe Otis was shot in the parking lot but aren't sure if he was inside the club before he was shot.

Those who work at the club say surveillance video was turned over to police.

Investigators are looking for anyone who may have witnessed the shooting from inside or outside the business.

"Of course with the number of people outside, not everyone was necessarily a witness, but we're certainly hoping with the number of people here that we will be able to identify persons who can provide us with additional information," LMPD spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said.

Smiley says the trauma is understandable.

"This is a very traumatic event," Smiley said. "This isn't just a number. We have a person, who is probably a father, a brother to people. Needless to say, there are people here who know him, and of course they're very upset and concerned about this. So in addition to trying keep them calm, we're also trying to, again, find our witnesses, also trying to locate evidence, so there's a number of things that have to be handled simultaneously."

Police have no suspects at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call the LMPD crime tipline at 574-LMPD (574-5673).

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