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VOL. 133 | NO. 183 | Friday, September 14, 2018

Purple Haze Owners Decide To Close Club Indefinitely

Special to The Daily News

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After four people were shot early Monday morning at Purple Haze, a Downtown Memphis nightclub, owners announced Thursday, Sept. 13, they will remain closed indefinitely as management “evaluates best practices” for the business.

Nightclub owners said earlier this week that they were closing the business at 140 Lt. George W. Lee Ave. for only two weeks to “review operations” after the shooting inside the club on Sept. 10.

But Thursday Purple Haze announced they were “ceasing operations for the time being.”

“As the safety and security of our guests and employees are the most important priority, we are not announcing a re-opening date as we continue to evaluate best practices in order to provide a quality nightclub experience in Memphis, Tennessee,” according to a press release emailed Thursday afternoon by the club’s spokeswoman, Valerie Morris.

Four people were injured in the shooting. Three were treated and released from the hospital and another man remains in critical condition at the Regional Medical Center.

Memphis police have arrested and charged Jeremy Beck, 32, in connection with the club shooting. Beck remains in jail awaiting an initial court hearing.

The shooting occurred shortly after 3 a.m. Monday inside the club and on the patio of the business. Owners said they were working to find out how guns were brought into the club.

In the news release Thursday, Purple Haze outlined the security measures they have taken at the club in the last 7½ years, including using metal-detector wands to check club patrons in at the entrance.

“Depending on crowd size, we employ five to seven strategically placed security guards paid at a minimum of $20 an hour and an armed off-duty police officer paid at $40 an hour that has the authority to uphold the law as needed,” according to the release.

The owners said they felt they have been singled out and unfairly portrayed by the media as a club “for violent events” when some of the incidents occurred outside of the club or in nearby parking garages that are not owned by Purple Haze.

“We understand what happened Monday was a terrible event. As we stated, we are closing to evaluate how to move forward to provide a quality nightclub experience, however we are unsure if that is possible in the current environment in Downtown Memphis,” according to the emailed news release.

The club owners thanked Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings and the police department for their efforts to help “mitigate” the violence, but said they feared it is not enough.

“Given the regularity of violent events that occur Downtown, we are concerned for the citizens and tourists of Memphis,” the release stated. “We urge citizens of Memphis to take note and work with their representatives and city leaders to try to find a solution to decrease the violence in the city.”

PROPERTY SALES 101 603 9,602
MORTGAGES 92 538 10,616
BUILDING PERMITS 215 1,282 20,958
BANKRUPTCIES 51 408 6,108