Renton moves to stop troubled lounge after weekend murder
RENTON, Wash. -- John Gilday said he had to move the candles, balloons and notes from the alley. A dead man's memorial deserves better.
The Renton business owner felt compelled to relocate the tokens of love Thursday night because he said solving crime takes people "to come together."
The memorial is for a 27-year-old man who was gunned down Saturday night outside of Home Run, a nightclub and restaurant in Renton. Gilday said he heard the "pop, pop, pop" of gunfire from inside his hanger next to the restaurant. He sees the growing violence escalating.
"They don't throw punches anymore. They throw lead," he said.
The city of Renton has noticed too, and Mayor Denis Law says Home Run is a focal point of crime in the area. Law noted there have been 215 calls to 911 in the past two years and eight gun-related crimes, including the recent death.
"I think the neighbors rightfully fear for their families," Law said.
The city has formally asked the Washington Liquor Control Board to revoke Home Run's license to sell alcohol. Action is still pending, and despite the violence in the parking lot, Gilday says Home Run owner David Anderson understands his clientele have a rough reputation.
"They want the vibe of street cred and gangster and all of that and if they don't do it here, they will do it somewhere else," he said.
Gilday says Anderson has hired security guards and requires metal detecting wanding upon entry.
"I'm old, fat, white and ugly and they still pat me down," he said.
In a short conversation, Anderson said Renton's motivations may be racial-motivated and that Law's crime statistics are "a bunch of lies."
There is no timeline yet on possible revocation of Home Run's liquor license.