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Columbia Police and Empire Supper Club owner discuss future of club

EMPIRE SUPPER CLUB.jpg

It's been several days since the Empire Supper Club was shut down after a shooting outside the business injured eight people. The fate of the club isn't clear after Police Chief Skip Holbrook declared the business a public nuisance and shut it down.

Before Saturday morning's shooting, Empire Supper Club owner Joseph Stovall had been operating the business on Lady Street for about eighteen months. He told WACH FOX News Saturday he felt the club being shut down was the wrong decision.

"When you have a person do such a thing, that is the problem. How do you prevent that?" said Stovall Saturday.

That's what Holbrook, Stovall and his attorney tried to answer in a meeting Tuesday. According to Attorney Bakari Sellers, arrangements would have to be made with police to allow the club to continue operating in a safe environment.

"This morning we went in and had a great conversation with the chief about making not only Empire, but also the Vista a healthy and safe environment, where this business can flourish and we don't have incidents of crime and violence," says Sellers.

He says another factor being considered is a parking lot where the incident started. It's a shared parking lot not owned by Empire Supper Club. Sellers and his client offered to make sure Empire Supper Club would keep that secure as well.

Sellers says his client deserves to keep his business open but we're still waiting to hear from Chief Holbrook on what comes next.

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