Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ybor's Empire Night Club to install metal detector following fatal shooting

YBOR CITY — Clubgoers wanting to get into Empire Night Club will now have to go through a metal detector.

Tampa police say the hip-hop club's owners told them they are installing a metal detector and limiting Empire's entrances to one following a shooting early Sunday that killed a 20-year-old man and injured another.

Police have responded to dozens of calls at the Seventh Avenue club, and at least three other fatal attacks have occurred at or near the club over the past nine years.

Earlier this week, several dozen people rallied in front of the club, calling for it to be declared a nuisance and shut down, according to Bay News 9.

Last weekend's shooting claimed the life of Leslie Jerome Jones Jr., a father of four, and injured Ahmaud Black, 19. The shooter has not been caught. Police are still investigating.

The club is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Police met with its two owners and their attorney Thursday morning to discuss what the club will be doing to ensure patrons' safety.

At the meeting — attended by Assistant Chief John Bennett and several others — Empire's owners said they planned to install a walk-through metal detector, said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

They plan to fire any employees who allow patrons in through the other doors, which will now be exit-only, McElroy said.

They will also extend the hours they employ off-duty officers to 9:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.

"The bottom line is we need to inure that the patrons of Ybor City and this club are safe," McElroy said.

She said the club's owners have handed over surveillance video footage from the night of the shooting and have been cooperating.

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

Ybor's Empire Night Club to install metal detector following fatal shooting 10/06/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 6, 2011 11:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday


    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start


    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy


    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)


    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102