Days before shooting, eviction notice filed against Inglewood hookah bar

(Photo: WKRN)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An Inglewood hookah bar has been a problem and causing headaches for some folks in East Nashville.

Last weekend, a man was kicked out of the bar after an argument. He then went to his car, got a gun, and started shooting at security guards. Those guards fired back, shooting and killing the customer.

News 2 has found out new information that could force the business to close. Last Thursday, the owners of the property filed for an eviction notice, claiming the owner of the business owes back rent.

According to court documents, Benjamin and Ann Mitchell, and their attorney J. Trent Lehman, filed to have the owner of Cloud IX evicted for failure to pay rent. They claim the owner, Erica Fenton, owes $175,712.28.

(Photo: WKRN)

If it was up to neighbors, Cloud IX would already be closed.

“It’s crazy that after you start feeling comfortable with the area, and thinking it’s getting better, move into a new house, and all of a sudden people are getting murdered behind your back yard,” neighbor Joshua Neal told News 2.

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But the process to declare an establishment a nuisance is not just cut and dry.

“The DA’s office in conjunction with the police department doesn’t just jump into a nuisance suit, usually there are meetings with the owners to address problems and say these are the things going on in your establishment and you need to correct them,” said Assistant DA Ed Ryan. “And at some point in time when the owners don’t take control of the situation that’s when it’s time for the government to step in and do what we have to with the law.”

According to a letter Metro police Commander David Imhof sent to neighbors, to date there have been 12 calls for service at Cloud IX, including two shootings, six calls for disorderly persons or fighting, and four alarm calls. See the full letter below this story.

PREVIOUS: Man dies in shootout at outside East Nashville hookah lounge

The DA’s office will be watching closely.

“Obviously having two homicides in a relatively short period of time in a club will definitely shorter period of time in a club will definitely put them on our radar,” Ryan said.

News 2 reached out to the attorney for the property owners and haven’t heard back. We also reached out to Cloud IX owner and was told she is not commenting at this time.

In the past three and a half years, Metro police and the DA’s office have declared three businesses, including a motel, and two drug houses a nuisance. Police responded to Club Kilimanjaro 120 times before moving forward with having the business deemed a nuisance and padlocked.

Councilman Anthony Davis wants the club shut down. He represents Inglewood, the neighborhood in East Nashville where Cloud IX is located. He says Inglewood is safe and homicides are rare–and he wants to keep it that way.

“Inglewood is a safe area and it’s become a great place to live and raise your children,” Davis told News 2. “We got a lot of young families here. We’re just willing to do anything to solve this problem.”

So far in Nashville, there have been 96 murders. 21 have been in East Nashville. Metro police say they are going to continue to step up patrols outside the club and ask neighbors to call 911 with concerns.

Letter from Commander David Imhof:

The loss of two lives, no matter the circumstances, is always a tragedy and I am truly sorry for this family’s loss. I am encouraged that the property owner has begun the eviction process; however, the police department is also taking the appropriate steps to address the issues involving this business. As of today, I have been in contact with Councilman Anthony Davis, Councilman Nancy VanReece, Special Agent in Charge Melvin Brown of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission and ADA Ed Ryan of the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office.

We are exploring all options to ensure the safety of the surrounding residents and businesses.

It is still vitally important for businesses and residents to call the police anytime there are issues concerning this Cloud IX which would include loud music, disorderly persons, trespassing, fighting, shots fired, etc. as we continue in this process. As of today we have received 12 calls for service concerning Cloud IX directly. Those calls include the two shootings, 4 alarm calls and 6 calls for disorderly persons or fighting. Mr. Harris, your property (three businesses) has made 6 calls to the police since January 1st. Sgt. Fisher and I have personally gone to all three businesses to discuss any and all issues involving Cloud IX and encouraged all of them to call us anytime there is an issue. Even though the police department has not had an overwhelming amount of complaints involving Cloud IX, we have continued to make extra patrols and business checks at the business and the adjacent businesses. Year to date we have conducted 106 proactive engagements at Cloud IX and the adjacent properties. We will continue to conduct extra patrols as we continue through this process, however will still need the help and cooperation from the public. Again, as issues arise please contact the police. Residents can also e-mail us with any past accounts of issues that they have witnessed or experienced. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Sincerely,

Commander David Imhof