TAMPA — Gunfire sounded in the darkness just outside Sin City, an East Tampa strip club, early Monday morning.
Deputies arrived, but found no victims, just empty shell casings and people who said they'd heard the noise. But they soon discovered Marcus Wesley, 24, dying of his wounds in the back seat of a car at a nearby home, deputies said.
It started with an argument around 2:15 a.m. in the parking lot of the club, at 5634 E Hillsborough Ave.
Investigators say Wesley and another man, who was shot several times in the legs, had been driven from the scene by friends. Wesley was left in a gray Chevrolet Impala outside a nearby home, at 2218 Chelsea St., and the other man was taken in serious condition to St. Joseph's Hospital.
The second man, a 22-year-old, has not been named because he is considered a witness, said sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway.
Police unsuccessfully performed CPR on Wesley. Neighbors and police said Wesley was friends with a couple of men who live at the Chelsea Street home. Neighbor Connie Braswell said a man known as "Pop," who has two sons, lives there.
Callaway said there are no suspects.
Hillsborough County Jail records show Wesley has been arrested at least six times on charges that include grand theft of a motor vehicle, possession of cocaine, burglary, driving without a license, aggravated battery, robbery and cruelty to animals.
Sin City Gentleman's Club is a one-story white building with a red roof along busy Hillsborough Avenue. A lone deputy was in the parking lot early Monday, and two men answered the door at the club but declined comment.
There have been more than 100 law enforcement calls to the address in the past four years, according to records from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. About a dozen involved assault or battery, and many others were for liquor violations, general disturbances or thefts.
Callaway noted that the location had a less-than-stellar reputation before it was Sin City.
When it was called Sugar Shack several years ago, deputies raided the club on allegations of drugs and indecent exposure. Another time, an argument with a tow truck driver in the parking lot ended with someone else shot to death, he said.