ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — Violence that downtown St. Louis continues to experience is becoming threatening to the city’s bottom line. An alderman tells News 4, major companies are threatening to move out of downtown if things don’t change.
News 4 got new exclusive video backing up some residents’ concerns. Video showing gun fire in front and behind the club, along with patrons beating, kicking and throwing punches at others. Those concerns, residents say, are stemming from Reign Nightclub.
“Since that operation opened, we’ve been having trouble, like, immediately,” Andy Crossett said.
Crossett has lived on Washington Avenue, down the street from Reign, for more than a decade now.
Up and down Washington Avenue in Downtown St. Louis, local business reigns. However, a problem with outbursts of crime, has business owners growing more concerned by the day.
“We’ve got some activity that’s been happening next door at Reign, and I think it needs to be cracked down on. It seems the problem has started with them and has continued as long as they’ve been open,” Crossett said.
In the last month, there’s been at least one shooting a week, if not more, outside Reign’s front doors. One shooting, injuring an innocent bystander.
“Werth and I was walking home and Werth saw a young lady and her guy was physically putting his hands on her. Werth did what any man would do, try to break it up, and once he thought it was broken up, he walked away,” Corey Harris said.
Harris also lives on Washington Avenue. On the night of August 31st, Harris and his friend Werth were walking home from a cigar bar on Washington Avenue. News 4 has video of the encounter, but has chosen to only show the audio because of its disturbing nature.
Harris says after Werth broke up the fight and started walking away, one of the men involved in the altercation took out his gun and fired several rounds that hit Werth. Werth is now in the hospital and paralyzed from the waist down. His shooter, is still on the run.
A man was injured in an overnight shooting in downtown St. Louis.
Harris and nearly a dozen more residents News 4 talked to say they believe Reign is contributing to downtown violence. However, some club goers say the downtown neighborhood association (DNA) and its members are racist. Some of them posting on social media about it. Downtown residents say they disagree.
“Werth is a white man and Werth and I don’t waste our time with that. That’s a waste of time,” Harris said. “That’s not the problem. The problem is the way they’re operating, and they don’t seem to have any regard for the neighborhood,” Corssett said.
News 4 requested an interview with Reign’s owner, Dana Kelly, Thursday. After hours of waiting, we did not receive a response.
“We who live down here are honest to God trying to bring this downtown back to where it was at one time,” Harris said.
Reign’s owners will go in front of the Board of Alderman Friday at 10 a.m. The nightclub could have its liquor license revoked. Residents tell News 4 they plan to be there to sound off.
To donate to Werth, his recovery, and his family, please click here.
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