WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Winston-Salem police say a seventh victim has come forward after a shooting outside the NOVA Lounge in the city’s downtown area.
Surveillance video from a nearby business shows the moment someone started shooting outside the club, at about 1:40 a.m. Sunday.
The shooting is out of frame, but people start to run from shots as others take cover behind vehicles in the latest act of violence near the businesses at 515 N Cherry St.
“As long as the doors were open on the building beside us, there was some kind of issue associated with the 500 block of Cherry Street,” said Joe Cannon, property manager for TH Johnson & Sons, which operates the Village Loft Apartments next door to the club.
Police originally said six people had been shot, with three of them found as officers arrived on scene and three others being driven in personal vehicles to a local hospital. Police tell FOX8 they learned a seventh victim had later arrived at the hospital with a graze wound.
Investigators say a woman’s vehicle had also been shot as she tried to leave the area, but she was not injured.
“Violence here in the alleyway, here in the street,” said Cannon, who also used to live in the lower apartment facing the street. “Shootings, a guy got stabbed in the throat.”
On Monday, officers were back on the scene to collect newly-discovered bullets from the shooting.
At least one was lodged in a window frame at the Village Loft apartments and another was found about 40 feet down the sidewalk near a shattered light outside a neighboring business.
“It’s chaos. I mean, that’s the best way to describe it,” Cannon said, of a shooting he had experienced while living next to the club. “It’s just chaos.”
Several clubs have been housed in NOVA Lounge’s current location. Lillipops Gentleman’s Club operated there before the City of Winston-Salem filed a nuisance lawsuit against the owner. The club eventually closed in January 2016.
“As this has been one establishment or another, there’s been issues and it just continues and continues and continues. Our residents I think have reached a point where they’re almost hesitant to call in because they know that it’s probably going to fall on deaf ears,” Cannon said.
Winston-Salem police say since January 1, 2010, there have been a total of 35 part 1 crimes committed at 515 N. Cherry St., including aggravated assaults, robberies and larcenies.
They said there were 108 part 2 crimes, which include disorderly conduct, drug violations and simple assaults.
The total offenses peaked in 2015, when there were 47, before dropping to the single-digits in each of the last three years.
“It’s interesting to say the least,” Cannon said, of when there is an open business at the location. “Any other night, doors closed, it’s great.”
Cannon said he and his tenants have contacted several elected officials within city government.
“If we continue like we have continued, and nothing is done to stop it, and someone does get killed, then I would look to the City of Winston-Salem as to who’s responsible for that,” he said.
An employee in East Ward Council Member Annette Scippio’s office says Scippio is aware of the situation and is investigating. She expects “someone from City Hall” to make a statement at some point.
“I mean, this is the convention center,” Cannon said, speaking of the new Benton Convention Center, which is directly across the street from the club. “We can’t afford to have this kind of stuff happen here, not on a monthly basis, not ever.”
Police say none of the victims’ injuries are life-threatening. To learn more about them and hear from their families, click here.
Officers have not released a description of the shooter.