2 Guns outside hookah bar, business owners nearby call for tackling rising violence

CLARKSVILLE, Tennessee (now Clarksville) — In a weekend shooting at a hookah bar that injured two people, a neighboring business owner said enough was enough.

The Clarksville Police Department confirmed that two people were shot in the incident.

The shooting took place at Hookah 21, and Dustyn Brewer, co-founder of neighbouring King’s Bluff Brewery, said there were various problems.

Open until early morning

Hookah 21 is located at 138 University Avenue. And has been in business for about four years. Brewer told Clarksville the incident has gotten worse since Hookah 21 was awarded a liquor license in March.

“The shooting, the security, the people parking here and there, breaking the bottle, it all got their attention,” he said.

Brewer attributed the ongoing problems to the timing of Hookah 21’s opening. He noted that while King’s Bluff Brewery and several other businesses serving alcoholic beverages closed around 10pm, Hookah 21 remained open until 3am or later. He explained that the early closure limits potential problems.

“Honestly, we just want to be good stewards of our community. We know we can’t dictate everything that happens in your business; it’s impossible,” he said. “This has been going on for months and more and more people are injured.”

Clarksville Now has contacted Hookah 21 for comment.

Shot on Saturday night

Brewer said he was out of town at the time of the shooting, but other business owners and property managers provided him with information they knew.

“The shooting happened around 2am (Sunday). Two people were ejected from the hookah rod, and as they were ejected from the hookah rod, one of them pointed the gun at the other and shot multiple times. One of the bullets went off. Up, the flying bullets actually hit a tenant in an apartment building behind Hookah 21. Several other bullets hit another man, paralyzing him, who shouted: “I can’t feel my legs, I can’t feel my legs. “

The gunman fled the scene, and the man who was shot multiple times was later carried on a stretcher by emergency medical services and taken to a parking lot at Austin Peay State University, where he was taken to an intensive care hospital by LifeFlight, he said.

Clarksville Police Lieutenant Charles Gill confirmed there were two victims in the shooting Sunday morning, but gave no further details. Gill said the incident is under investigation.

call for solutions

Brewer has called for a solution to the growing violence outside the club.

“We’re just urging the community to do the right thing and protect community members, whether it’s us all coming together to figure out how to help, or whether they (Hookah 21) fundamentally change the way they do business. It’s scary. They’re afraid to walk up to their car at night and it’s a little too close to college for something like this to happen,” Brewer told Clarksville Now.

Several other agencies, including the mayor’s office, have been contacted about the matter, according to Brewer. But in the meantime, local business owners have been instructed to call 911 in the event of further unrest.

“The fact that we all got in touch with city officials and elected leaders, and we’re basically going back, ‘You’re on your own, keep calling 911,’ is pathetic to me,” Brewer said. “So I’d like to see more aggressive initiatives to help make our communities safer and more prosperous.”

Clarksville has now contacted the mayor’s office for comment.

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