Police padlock two clubs after weekend shootings - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Police padlock two clubs after weekend shootings

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STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) -

A judge ordered two Statesboro nightclubs locked down after a string of complaints, gunfire and a man shot and killed.

Judge Robbie Turner agreed to a city request that PrimeTime Lounge and The Platinum Lounge be closed. Police padlocked the doors to both clubs Wednesday night.

Early Sunday morning, police went to the Platinum Lounge for a report of gunfire and ended up closing the club due  to fighting. Minutes later, two men were shot in a parking lot next to PrimeTime Lounge.

One of the victims, Johnnie Benton, ran to the club for help and later died. The other victim, Jamal Heard, remains hospitalized.

City Attorney Alvin Leaphart told WTOC the incidents were not isolated and both clubs have been the source of complaint calls and have kept police busy.

"There are, of course, noise complaints and there are some litter complaints," the attorney said. "But there's been an escalation of violent crimes and criminal damage to property and gunfire and that tipped the scale."

Leaphart said the judge's closure remains in effect until Dec. 10. The city and the club owners will appear in court to make their cases whether or not the clubs should be able to reopen.

The shooting remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Statesboro Police at 912.764.9911 or text TIPSSPD plus your info to 274637.

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