Downtown Springfield business says crime is an ongoing problem

Published: Apr. 25, 2021 at 8:30 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2021 at 9:17 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - An overnight shooting Sunday in downtown Springfield left one person hospitalized in critical, but stable condition.

Officers were stationed outside of Zan The Club on South Patton Avenue in downtown Springfield. As the club was closing, police say an altercation broke out between two men. They say one man pulled out a gun and shot the other.

One Downtown business manager says this is an ongoing problem. Skinny Slims general manager Rob says he witnessed Sunday’s shooting.

“I was standing out front and we were trying to get everyone out of the building. I was looking in that direction, keeping an eye on the crowd. I hear the two shots and went back inside, hung up the curtains and tried to keep everyone away from the windows and keep everyone inside until it was safe,” said Hoerr.

Hoerr said last night’s shooting isn’t the first time violence has broken out down the street.

“We’ve had eight shootings since the bars reopened last year. We will sit here and often count how many fights happen at the end of the night. A couple of weeks ago, we counted between 13-18 fights,” said Hoerr.

He tells me that it is more than violence. People are damaging personal property as well.

“One of my bartenders had $1,900 in damages to her car because somebody who was going to that club got out of their car, turned up their stereo and ran directly up the hood of my bartender’s car and danced on the roof,” said Hoerr.

Hoerr said that the employees of the nightclub often partake in criminal activity.

“It’s incredibly frustrating to watch them succeed. And succeed might not be the right word, but they are having a successful business built on clientele that is causing problems for other people around them,” said Hoerr.

He says the ongoing crimes are hurting business.

“They cause a lot of problems and they are cultivating a culture of violence,” Hoerr.

“The downtown police officers that work every weekend, do a great job and do everything in their power to make this a safe environment, but when they have to block off the street, it looks dangerous. You should be able to walk around and feel safe down here,” said Hoerr.

We reached out to the owners of the nightclub and did not hear back from them. Last night’s shooter, whose name has not yet been released, is currently in custody.

The Springfield Police Department says there is no threat to the community. The victim was transported to the hospital.

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