Weekend shootings a concern for businesses, tourists

11:38 PM, Jun 23, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND --  A weekend of violence in one of the most popular areas of downtown Cleveland has both business owners and visitors on edge.   

"We're staying at the Renaissance and then we heard gun shots," explained a woman visiting from California. "It's terrifying... and we will not come back, I'm sorry to say."   

It's an alarming response Bar Louie manager Jamar Deanes is hoping will not become a trend among customers.   

"We're at the equator of fun, as I like to call it," said Deanes, whose business is located at the corner of West 6th Street and St. Clair Avenue. 

It is prime real estate for one of the hottest areas in downtown Cleveland, however it was also the scene of a crime Sunday when a police officer was forced to open fire during a traffic stop.   

"I'm not surprised, but at the same time I'm disappointed... I just hope things turn around soon," said Deanes, in response to the shooting.  "It could turn into another flats situation where businesses are closing down one at a time and then soon they have to wipe it out."   

The police involved shooting at W. 6th Street comes on the heels of another just the night before in Public Square.  

Investigators say a fight inside Lounge 75 spilled into the street, leaving a 23-year-old man dead and a 21-year-old woman injured. 

Sgt. Sammy Morris, with the Cleveland Police Department, says there's always a strong police presence downtown and these recent shootings should be viewed as isolated incidents.   

"I hope things turn around because I love it down here and I have cause for concern, not just for my employees and myself, but all the other businesses as well," said Deanes.  


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