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Bar responds to criticism stemming from shooting in downtown Hattiesburg

Nostalgia Lounge & Bar said the Valentine's Day shooting that happened downtown should not be...
Nostalgia Lounge & Bar said the Valentine's Day shooting that happened downtown should not be tied back to the bar.(Source: WDAM)
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 12:09 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A downtown Hattiesburg lounge that has been criticized by neighborhood residents following a Valentine’s Day shooting issued a response Thursday.

A statement sent to WDAM on behalf of Nostalgia Lounge & Bar said the shooting that happened on Front Street should not be tied back to the bar.

“The incident did not originate or escalate in or in front of our establishment, as this is confirmed by an official Hattiesburg police report,” the statement reads.

The statement also says the shooting happened off the bar’s property and after it had closed for the night.

You can read the full statement below:

On behalf of Nostalgia Lounge and Bar, we would like to make an official statement in regards to the incident that occurred on the night of February 14th, 2021 after our business’ closing time and beyond our business’ premises.

First, we extend our deepest thoughts and prayers to the individuals that were involved in Sunday night’s incident.  We would like to make it abundantly clear that Nostalgia Lounge & Bar had NO connection to this incident.

The incident did not originate or escalate in or in front of our establishment, as this is confirmed by an official Hattiesburg police report. We take these matters very seriously. Our establishment does not tolerate or cultivate an atmosphere of violence. The sole purpose of Nostalgia Lounge and Bar is to provide our community with a safe, fun, and diverse experience. After almost three years of operation, we have served as an asset to the downtown community by providing job opportunities for college students and locals to the area.

During a town hall meeting held on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021, the fate of our establishment was determined and voted upon by the city council. There was no invite extended to the owners of Nostalgia Lounge and Bar, and as a result, we had no representation in attendance to defend our establishment.

We as a business have decided to stand firm against the decision being made to permanently shut our doors. We also stand against all accusations being made, specifically labeling us a public nuisance. We find it very offensive and disheartening for our patrons and our establishment to be labeled as such.

We have made a collective decision to cancel our lineup of events for this upcoming weekend in order to evaluate our current policies and procedures. We will also continue to work with the Hattiesburg Police Department as well as all levels of law enforcement to implement more extensive security measures to ensure the safety of our patrons and the downtown community. Our tentative events will be forth coming.

Lastly, we are very thankful for our patrons. They are more than just customers to us, they are family. We owe the success of Nostalgia Lounge and Bar to their consistent support over the last 3 years. Special thanks to friends, family, and staff members.

According to Hattiesburg police, the shooting happened around 10 p.m. Sunday and sent two people to the hospital.

Two suspects have since been charged in the investigation.

HPD said 21-year-old Calvin Haynes, of Brookhaven, and 24-year-old Aquevias Tatum, of Hattiesburg, were arrested Wednesday and charged with tampering with evidence.

Two days after the shooting, the Hattiesburg City Council voted on a resolution regarding the bar. Councilwoman Mary Dryden said the council is asking for the business to be shut down.

That resolution will be reviewed by the district attorney.

People living downtown also started a petition asking that Nostalgia Lounge & Bar be held accountable for the shooting.

The petition claims three shootings over the past two years have “been perpetrated by clientele of Nostalgia Lounge & Bar.”

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