Some members of the Columbia City Council are responding to an emergency call to action for East Business Loop 70, after one person was killed and four were injured in a shooting in the Plush Lounge parking lot on May 7. Columbia City Councilman Nick North, who represents the district where the shooting took place, stated that residents had contacted him about a stray bullet hitting his home in the Plush Lounge shooting early Sunday morning.
North plans to collaborate with officials to understand what tools the city has to address safety concerns near East Business Loop 70. New city ordinances may be initiated or existing ones adjusted as a result. North emphasized that he is not interested in punishing corporations for what happens in day-to-day life. Instead, he is focused on what can be done to improve safety.
According to the city’s website, examples of nuisance ordinances include regulations on weed growth, solid waste storage, on-site sewage, and vehicle nuisance. North added that nothing was on the agenda for Monday’s meeting, having spoken one-on-one with city council members, but that the issue would be brought up in the general debate at the end of the meeting.
Donald Waterman, a member of the Columbia Fifth District Council, believes that the city council as a whole needs to have a discussion on the matter and that something needs to be done. Within the past year, there have been 27 jamming calls on the 900 block of East Business Loop, two shootings, and two reports of shootings, including the shooting of a woman in the parking lot of a luxury lounge last June.
Waterman suggested focusing on a few businesses where calls are being made by their sponsors, and having a police presence there. He thinks that if this approach is taken, something can be done about them. Since the shooting, the Plush Lounge has announced an “indefinite closure.”