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Atlanta targeting ‘nightlife crimes’ to stop shootings, homicides near clubs and restaurants

In the past week alone, there have been several shootings at or near Atlanta clubs and restaurants.

ATLANTA — The Blue Flame Lounge in Northwest Atlanta is now the target of at least one City Council Member who wants the city to revoke the club’s liquor license and shut it down, accusing the club of having a notorious reputation for repeated violent crimes.

The most recent crime there was on Wednesday, January 26.

Atlanta Police say a young man who was inside the club, Dishawn Marquis Lee Herndon, 21, got into an argument with another man.

Police say the two ended up outside the club, and the man shot Herndon to death.

RELATED: Atlanta Police names suspect, charges in deadly strip club shooting

Friday, Atlanta Homicide Commander Ralph Woolfolk said investigators had obtained arrest warrants for a suspect, Dedric Howard, 25.

“We did deploy resources immediately on this night to the hospital,” Woolfolk said. “We did have some witnesses in which we began to assess the validity of information provided to us on scene... leading us to today’s outcome” of being able to identify the suspect, who, as of Friday night, had not been located and arrested.

Prior to Saturday morning, there had been five shootings at or near Atlanta clubs and restaurants.

On Jan. 22, in Buckhead, a man and woman were shot and wounded at Peachtree Road and West Shadowlawn Avenue, near a stretch of clubs and restaurants.

Police say the man had been arguing with another man, and on Friday police released video and photos of that man, recorded just prior to the shootings, and police are calling him a suspect.

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating him, and are also looking for others in the video who appear to know him.

The next night, outside Loca Luna in northeast Atlanta, someone fired multiple rounds, sending people running for their lives. One person was wounded.

At the same spot in October, a man was shot and killed.

This week, the owners of the building terminated the restaurant’s lease, effective immediately.

On Jan. 25, at Chic Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Atlanta, someone shot at least 15 rounds outside. No one was wounded, but parked cars were badly damaged from the bullets.

Three nights later, outside a club in the Crescent Avenue neighborhood in Midtown Atlanta, a man and woman were shot multiple times after, police said, he had argued with another man inside the club.

Then on Saturday morning, Jan. 29, a sixth shooting occurred. One person was killed and three others were hospitalized when an argument led to a shooting at Pregame Bar & Grill in the Vine City neighborhood.

Last year, the City of Atlanta enacted an ordinance to revoke the liquor licenses of clubs where repeat violent crimes make them a public nuisance.

So Atlanta Council Member Dustin Hillis believes the city can make the case to revoke the Blue Flame Lounge’s liquor license.

11Alive obtained Atlanta police records for the past two years, which show that there were four people shot at the club’s address on Harwell Road NW.

There were 61 calls to police about fights at that address, some of them involving people who were armed with guns, but in 45 of those calls police found nothing by the time they arrived.

And in the past four years, police arrested 17 people at that address for various offenses.

11Alive is working to reach the management of the business for comment.

Atlanta Police are asking for the public’s help in locating the homicide suspect, Dedric Howard, as the city begins to flex its liquor license muscle—to try to shut down businesses where the nightlife can be a life-and-death risk for customers.