SoMa nightclub shutting down following shooting

March 25, 2013 6:38:46 PM PDT
The San Francisco nightclub where three men were shot over the weekend is closing its doors forever.

Jocelyn Kane, executive director of the Entertainment Commission, met with the owners of 330 Ritch Monday. They told her they're shutting down the club.

"They have surrendered their entertainment permit to us, which means it will never be 330 Ritch again," Kane said.

The shooting at 330 Ritch is the worst case of nightclub violence in the city in years and prompted Mayor Ed Lee to send a warning to nightclub owners.

"The entertainment industry is trying to have dialogue with me about more night entertainment. Well, if the nightclubs don't pick it up so that we prevent this type of thing, then you're not going to have that kind of favorable response from the city," Lee said.

The closure comes after gunfire erupted at the South Beach night club early Saturday morning. Three patrons were shot. One was sent to the hospital in critical condition.

Witnesses said the shooting apparently started inside the club after two men were arguing. Dozens of shots were fired by one or more gunmen. Shell casings were found not only inside the club but up the alley to a parking lot on Brannan Street.

Police say the incident was the worst case of violence in entertainment venues since one man was killed and four others were wounded in the Suede nightclub shooting near Fisherman's Wharf three years ago.

Supervisor David Chiu, whose district includes Broadway, has sponsored numerous bills to curb club violence.

"We thought the numbers were going down, but unfortunately over the past six to 12 months, there have been some indications that this is a problem that's not going away," Chiu said.

After the Suede nightclub shootings, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors gave the Entertainment Commission, which regulates nightclubs, the power to act quickly every time there's trouble.

On Saturday after the shooting, the commission did just that. Under its new powers, the commission issued an emergency suspension, which effectively closed the club for the rest of the weekend until the incident could be investigated.

"We can now, as opposed to in '09, do something immediately, bring people in and do something administratively without a full blown hearing," said Kane.

Club owners did not respond to requests for comment. Police have made no arrests in the case, but said there's plenty of security camera video, which investigators are currently reviewing.


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