Black Gay Pride went off without a hitch this weekend but unfortunately was met by tragedy in an early morning shooting near The Marquette, a popular LGBT+ nightclub. While any suspect(s) still remain at large, it’s been reported that at least 5 people were shot during the chaos.
The shooting took place early Monday morning not far from The Marquette Restaurant & Lounge on Joseph E. Boone Boulevard. Investigators believe a fight broke out outside the club and soon after, gunshots followed.
In an interview with 11Alive, Joseph Downer who witnessed the shooting states,
“There were people shooting back and then somebody got in a fight, and they maced somebody and we all had to run. It was very scary.”
Police received a call around 6 a.m. for “multiple people shot”, they arrived at the chaotic scene where they found five people suffering from gunshot wounds.
According to The Marquette Restaurant & Lounges social media pages, an all-night event was being held in celebration of Black Pride Weekend. Fliers indicated renowned rapper Lil Kim would be present at the event and was advertised to begin at 10:30PM Sunday night.
As of now, the names and conditions of the gunshot victims have not yet been released and it’s said that the suspected shooter fled the scene before police arrived.
On Monday night, The Marquette Restaurant & Lounges released a statement in reference to the shooting saying,
“Our premises were fully secured at the time and to our knowledge, no major occurrence happened that would warrant the shooting that took place across the street. We are limited in the level of control we have in situations that do not occur on our property. We have reached out to the Atlanta Police Department and are fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation.” (Read the full statement below.)
As of now, investigators are still looking into the specifics of the shooting as well as anyone who may have been involved. City officials are also intervening in the matter. Atlanta City Councilman Michael Bond is in the process of proposing a new law at the next city council meeting requiring that liquor license holders who own the adjacent parking lot must extend their security beyond their establishment’s walls.
While the search continues and new details are discovered, anyone with information is encouraged to call the Atlanta Police Department’s Major Crimes Section at (404) 546-7896.