Owner of Cole's Place talks to WDRB after shooting leaves several injured

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Metro Police are still looking for a suspect who shot seven people during a crowded weekend concert.

It happened early Saturday morning during a concert at Cole's Place. The popular venue is located on West Kentucky Street.

"One minute, somebody called and said, eight people dead -- and then they got to five," said John Cole, who owns the club.

Cole was home and got a lot of misinformation by phone after the shooting.

"Then I called my police officer out there, he said nobody dead," Cole said.

It started with a fight, gunshots and seven victims, but all of them survived. "That was my main focus point, that no one lost their life," Cole said. 

Despite the shooting, Cole says this kind of violence is rare. "We go to all measures to prevent a situation like that."

There are also signs posted, and Cole is even known to take matters into his own hands.

"If I'm here and I see somebody disgruntled, I'll take 'em aside and talk to 'em and have a drink and see what's wrong."

If that doesn't work, the next stop is the door.

"If you do something here ... argue and fight, you out for life," Cole said.

Cole says there's also a heavy police presence at every event. That's including the weekend concert where the shooting took place.

"There was actually six police cars out here and probably about 13 or 14 security guards walking around."

Cole is a proud product of west Louisville and wants to give back to his community.

"I am down here trying to make a difference with the people in the streets," Cole said. That's why he is using his venue to make a difference with free events for children, seniors and strangers.

A few years ago, Cole's Place was ground zero for a local campaign to send clean drinking water to Flint, Michigan.

"You got kids up there drinking led water. We sent about five truckloads up there," Cole said.

Meanwhile, despite the shooting, Cole's Place is already back to business as usual.

"We have such a good time here on Sundays," said Paulette Douglas, with the Elks Club.

Sunday afternoon, members of a ladies Elks Club organization didn't hesitate to show up for their weekly meeting.

"My concern was if they was going to be open," Douglas said. "So I called him and he told me that they were."

Cole says they won't stop doing what they do, but admits people often ask him why he stays. He says he is not even close to giving up.

"For me to do that, it's like turning my back on my neighborhood. Gonna keep working with the kids, we'll keep helping the elderly and we're going to keep doing what we do."


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