Police release details on fatal Greensboro gunfight

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South Elm and Lewis streets in Greensboro (Google Maps)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Police released more details today about a weekend shootout near two nightclubs, and the city is reacting to concern from the local business community.

Police Spokeswoman Susan Danielsen said Michael Wayne Davis, 28, of High Point is in guarded condition. Police believe he was the only person shot by officers.

Danielsen told the News & Record that investigators have come to the conclusion from conducting interviews with numerous witnesses and reviewing evidence, including recordings from officers’ body-worn cameras.

“In this instance, the available video footage is incredibly helpful in determining the actions of the persons involved in the incident,” Danielsen said.

Police declined a request from the News & Record to release the police video.

Officer Jose M. Chavez was working downtown about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, when he and other officers heard gunfire, according to a police news release.

The officers ran to the scene, where Chavez shot Davis, who was involved in the gunfight, according to the release.

Danielsen said Davis’ condition has improved since Saturday.

Police said Davis’ twin brother Mark Shayne Davis, also of High Point, died in the gunfire.

According to police, the shootout stemmed from a fight between at least five men who had been in the Lotus Lounge, 120 W. Lewis St., and Artistika Nightclub, 523 S. Elm St.

Also injured in the shooting were Jacoby Conner, 23, and Derrick Parsons, 24, both of Winston-Salem; and Cornelia White, 30, of High Point.

Investigators have not arrested anyone in connection with the shooting.

Police said Monday that they still do not know what caused the fight.

The neighborhood in which the shooting occurred is also home to a business incubator, restaurants and residences.

City Councilman Zack Matheny told the News & Record on Monday that the city can take steps to help police increase safety downtown.

“The status quo doesn’t work for me right now,” Matheny said. “One of the things I’ve said is that if you have an officer on every street corner, that doesn’t stop stupidity and hatred.”

Matheny pointed out that the city is preparing to spend $200 million on downtown initiatives.

Matheny sent an email to city officials Saturday morning, urging that nightclub security guards be state-certified and that the city install downtown cameras and spend money to put more police downtown.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said Monday that she also wants more officers downtown, too. She said there were not enough officers to handle the clubs’ “dump out” on Friday night. But, there were enough officers on Saturday night. Police reported a stabbing at Lotus Lounge early Sunday morning.

Vaughan anticipates that officials will soon discuss a downtown safety ordinance the city passed two years ago after some revisions.

“It was watered down a bit,” Vaughan said. “One thing we need to look at is greater responsibility for what happens outside the club doors. If people go outside, (the clubs) kind of get a free pass.”

Several downtown night clubs began training employees this weekend. The employees who completed the training were to receive certificates, but would not be certified public safety officials.

Also, in September the city tabled plans to place 21 high-tech surveillance cameras throughout downtown.

At the time, interim Police Chief Anita Holder said the cameras could have curbed crime.

Mayor Vaughan expressed at the time that she was concerned visitors would have anxiety over the possibility they were being monitored.

City officials will meet with the Greensboro Downtown Residents’ Association Monday night to talk about their concerns.

That meeting, Greensboro Downtown Residents’ Association President Diane Ziegler said, is not open to the public.

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