Friday, April 27, 2018
Public safety

Deputies want to meet with Whiskey North managers in wake of recent shootings

TAMPA — Deputies plan to meet with Whiskey North's managers in the wake of Sunday's shooting to discuss what the club can do to prevent violence.

Sunday's melee, which injured two, was the second shooting at the Carrollwood club in six months.

About 3 a.m. Sunday, a fight broke out in the parking lot. At least 17 bullets flew as patrons ducked behind cars and ran down Dale Mabry Highway, deputies said.

Sheldon Lillie, 31, and Yakim Williams, 27, both of Tampa, were injured.

On Monday, detectives continued to follow leads supplied by witnesses, victims and surveillance videos.

The other shooting at the club, at 11921 N Dale Mabry Highway, was in July, when Pablo Bonilla, 23, of Tampa was killed and another patron injured in an argument over a woman that began in the club and continued outside.

An analysis shows that deputies last year responded to 148 calls for service at the club. Many appeared to be minor incidents, from parking and trespassing offenses to a liquor law violation.

But some of the calls involved violence, including 16 for assault and battery, four for fighting, one for a shooting, one for a stabbing and one for sexual battery.

On Monday, deputies did not have a date established for their meeting with Whisky North's managers. Sheriff's spokeswoman Samara Sodos said the club has been cooperative.

"We'll be talking about some proactive measures to prevent violent incidents in the future," Sodos said. She declined to share any specific ideas before the two groups meet.

Last year, Tampa police asked a troublesome Tampa club to pay for extra duty officers — police who work overtime and are paid by the club.

"They should foot the bill for the level of safety that's required — not the taxpayers," police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said at the time.

Sodos did not know Monday if Whiskey North employs any security. The club did not return calls for comment.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

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