Update: Wells now says the clubs should be permitted to stay open if they clean up their act.
In the aftermath of Monday’s early-morning drive-by shooting that left 13 people injured, Ward 6 Councilmember and mayoral candidate Tommy Wells has proposed a radical idea: shut down Ibiza and Fur nightclubs.
The clubs sit only a couple of blocks away from Tyler House, the North Capitol Street NW apartments where the shootings took place. Shortly after the clubs closed at 2 a.m. Monday morning, a group of people had gathered in front of the apartments to socialize when two vehicles pulled up and unleashed a hail of gunfire on the crowd. One victim, shot in the lower back, was seriously injured. The senseless attack has left neighborhood residents deeply shaken—-and at least one councilmember imbued with purpose.
“Releasing 2,000 to 3,000 to 4,000 people between the two clubs at night really does have a major impact on an area that’s no longer industrial,” says Wells, according to a report from WTOP. WJLA reports that Wells has said, “People gather over here after the clubs close. I’m definitely going to do my best to remove the nightclubs.”
That idea hasn’t gone over well. The councilmember has been assailed on Twitter for missing his target and unfairly blaming businesses that cater to a black clientele.
ok shut down club move ppl out problem solved no diversity in DC“@tommywells: The safety of all our residents young &old is non negotiable.”
— Ronald Moten (@RonaldMoten) March 13, 2013
So now @tommywells is going to use the shooting to try 2 close Fur and Ibiza … How about u use that energy to connect residents with jobs
— Tony Lewis Jr. (@mrtonylewisjr) March 12, 2013
Meanwhile, the Washington Post‘s Tim Craig reports that a spokesman for Mayor Vince Gray says Wells is grandstanding. Wells has not responded to Washington City Paper‘s request for comment.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery