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Safety concerns after more violence at Club Venus on Indianapolis' west side

Posted at 7:52 PM, May 13, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — A deadly encounter outside a west side gentleman's club occurred early Saturday morning, in one of several shootings at the particular club over the last few years.

Two men were shot and killed at Club Venus this past weekend, which marks the fifth shooting since 2017 at that address.

Whoever opened fire at the gentleman's club, near Tibbs Avenue and West 16th Street, took a son from his mother.

"I'm done. I'm lost. I have a six-year-old son that keeps crying for his brother," Falisha Curlin, a victim's mother, said.

William Walker, 23, and Charles Reeves, 42, were killed early Saturday morning.

"That's all we have is pictures and videos, that I constantly keep watching over and over, hoping he says, 'mama, it's a joke, we got cha.' I'm not getting that. At all," Curlin said.

A Ben Davis High School graduate, Walker also attended Indiana State University. His mother says the worst part is thinking her son is now just another statistic.

"So when they do that, in 2019, 'such and such people were killed,' my baby's going to be in that," Curlin said. "Another number to them..."

Sources tell RTV6 that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department nuisance abatement unit is looking into what they can do on a local level about this business. But it's the state's Alcohol and Tobacco Commission that has the authority to revoke an alcohol permit as a public nuisance.

There are several reasons why a permit may be revoked. The ATC provided the following explanation for as to what constitutes a public nuisance and how a business could loser its alcohol license:

"There are a number of avenues in which a permit may be revoked – the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission and/or Indiana State Excise Police could receive a complaint from the member of the public, open an investigation and refer any violations to the ATC prosecutor who could deem the offenses severe enough to warrant a violation; the ISEP could witness illegal activity during a permit visit and refer any violations to the ATC prosecutor who could deem the offenses severe enough to warrant a violation; or, on renewal, the Local Alcoholic Beverage Board and the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission could vote to deny the renewal of the permit.

Procedurally, to initiate any sanction against an alcohol permit, the Prosecutor files a Notice of Violation. This Notice both establishes the nature of the alleged violation as well as outlines for the permittee the process of the violation itself. The process includes the opportunity for a formal hearing before a duly appointed Hearing Judge in which evidence of the violation is admitted. The Hearing Judge, if the violation is proven by a preponderance of the evidence, makes a recommendation to the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission as to the appropriate sanction to impose. The sanction could include any combination of a fine, suspension, or revocation of the alcohol permit. It is ultimately the Commission itself that issues the appropriate sanction for the specific violation."

ATC and ISEP have started a program titled, 'Proactive Alcohol Compliance Enforcement (PACE),' to coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to identify "problem bars." More information on the PACE program can be found here.

ATC told RTV6 that Club Venus is on their radar. Indiana State Excise Police are currently looking into the situation, and whether they can or should shut it down.

Until then, to those who think violence is the answer, remember this grieving mother, her son and her story.

"It's stupid because no one wins."

RTV6 has been trying to get in touch with Club Venus since the weekend. They have not returned the newsroom's calls or requests.