Mayor Fischer says despite weekend shooting, west Louisville club should remain open
The business has taken a hit on social media since Saturday's shooting, with many saying the club needs to close.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer weighed in Monday on a west Louisville club that was the scene of a shooting early Saturday morning that left six people injured.
Cole's Place, a club at the corner of South 28th and West Kentucky Streets, has seen two major shootings in two-and-a-half years, leaving a total of 14 people injured. The business has taken a hit on social media since Saturday's shooting, with many saying the club needs to close.
But Fischer is not among them.
"Cole's Place does a tremendous amount of good for the neighborhood," Fischer said Monday morning. "So we need to understand what took place and how to prevent it from taking place. But shutting down Cole's is a bad idea."
The club has a history of free kids events, fundraisers and peaceful community gatherings. But it was anything but peaceful Saturday morning when a fight broke out and someone peppered the packed crowd inside the club with gunshots.
Video showing the aftermath continues to surface. The pictures show a frantic rush for safety and survival, and you can both see and hear the panic as people ran for their lives. Some of the footage is so close, fire can be seen coming from the weapon.
In comments, Fischer cited the proliferation of guns as one reason why the shootings occurred.
"It looks like a wild west kind of thing," Fischer said. "There's 340 million guns on the streets of America right now, and we've got our fair share in Louisville as well. But the question for a place like Cole's, or any place, is how guns get into the facility like that."
John Cole, the owner of Cole's Place, said Monday he has no answers for that.
"We go to all measures to prevent a situation like that," he said.
He said the weapon got past at least six police officers and about a dozen private security guards.
"If you can sneak a cell phone into a penitentiary, we're just a nightclub," he said. "We don't have the facility a penitentiary's got, but yet everyone wants to point fingers."
Of the six people shot on Saturday, police said four remain hospitalized, mostly with wounds to arms and legs. Despite the wealth of video posted online, police said they've made no arrests. They're now asking those very same people who ran for their lives to come forward and speak up for those who were injured, offering any tips and leads they might have to find the shooter.
Anyone with any information is asked to call (502) 574-LMPD. Callers can remain anonymous.
As for the calls on social media for Cole's Place to close, Cole said he doesn't plan on going anywhere.
"For me to do that is like turning my back on my neighborhood," he said. "I'm down here trying to make a difference with the people in the streets."
Cole's Place is the latest in a list of clubs that have been the scenes of shootings in Louisville over the last several years. At 6 p.m. Tuesday, a community discussion will be held at Cole's Place. The discussion will focus on how to prevent such shootings, and shooting survivors will be in attendance.
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