Fortunately, #2 daughter graduates in May............
Suspect turns self in after club shooting
Some students nervous, but say second shooting in three weeks won’t keep them off The Strip
By Jamon Smith
March 12. 2006 3:30AM
Lukendrick Keyon Harton, 21, turned himself in Saturday after police contacted his family.
Shooting on The Strip
LinkLinkLinkTUSCALOOSA | Some students say they are nervous after four people were shot and wounded on The Strip early Saturday, the second shooting there in three weeks.
But they said the shootings won’t necessarily stop them from frequenting The Strip, the row of restaurants and bars on University Boulevard that is popular with University of Alabama students.
Rollins Albritton, a 21-year-old UA junior from Birmingham, said she still feels safe on The Strip and in Tuscaloosa.
“It concerns me that all these things are happening, but I’ve always felt safe in Tuscaloosa," Albritton said. “I’m going to continue going out. However, something like this happening once is once too many."
The shooting Saturday happened about 1:09 a.m. after an altercation between a rejected customer and a bouncer at Venue 1215, a popular dance club, turned violent.
Witnesses told Tuscaloosa police that a man, later identified as 21-year-old Lukendrick Keyon Harton of Fayette, was barred by the bouncer from entering The Venue because he didn’t meet the club’s dress code.
After being rejected, Harton, who police said is not a UA student, allegedly left the scene, returned with a handgun, fired several times and fled in a sport utility vehicle.
“The guy was just aiming for the bouncer and the other people who were shot just got struck with some of the projectiles by happenstance," said Lt. J.R. Simpson of the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit.
Two of the people injured were treated and released from DCH Regional Medical Center, Simpson said, while the other two people, including the bouncer, remain in the hospital and listed in good condition.
The names of the victims haven’t been released. Two were UA students. The bouncer was a recent UA graduate.
Harton turned himself in to Fayette law enforcement early Saturday morning after investigators contacted his family. He was transferred to the Tuscaloosa County Metro Jail, where he remains. He is charged with first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault.
Staff at Venue 1215 said Saturday the club will remain open.
Another shooting happened on Feb. 23, when 23-year-old Jason Michael Gardner is alleged to have shot a Moroccan man in the head with a 22-caliber rifle after he made racial threats to the owner of the Quick Grill, located on The Strip across from the Venue.
Gardner faces several attempted murder charges in connection to the shootings.
The shootings, coupled with a reputation for violence that already surrounds The Strip and adjacent areas, has some students feeling uneasy.
“It’s getting out of hand," said 20-year-old Matthew Perry, a sophomore from UA from Prattville. “There’s shootings on The Strip. People are getting beat up just about every night on The Strip. It’s just scary how things are going right now."
Lewis said since the Feb. 23 shooting, he has been working with the Student Government Association to come up with ways to make students feel safer on The Strip.
“We’re going to try to get students educated about safety and what we can do to protect ourselves when we go out at night," Lewis said. “This is something that definitely needs to be addressed."
Tuscaloosa Police Department Chief Ken Swindle said the issue is being addressed.
“I’ve been talking with the Merchant’s Association and we’re coming up with ways of getting some extra officers out there on The Strip," Swindle said. “Right now, the association is looking at hiring some off duty police officers to work The Strip area."
Swindle said at any given time, there may be as many as five officers patrolling The Strip, though the numbers increase to as many as 40 during football season.
A statement issued Saturday by UA President Robert Witt said: “We are deeply concerned about the incident that took place last night, and extend our thoughts and prayers to those who were injured. The safety of our students is an absolute priority. The University has a strong working relationship with the city and we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure a safe and healthy environment."
Staff photographer Michael Palmer contributed to this report.
Reach Jamon Smith at email@example.com or (205) 722-0204.
callgood-I like your threads.
My fashion consultants (wife/daughters) sometimes don't share that thought!
A common factor the last few incidents is "outsider" acting upon students. Last year there was a similar incident after an on campus party- guy denied entrance, used a knife. Lot rougher than when I was there.