WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Wichita’s police chief and a bar owner are responding after a pair of shootings happened at two clubs this weekend that left several people injured.
Co-owner of Rock Island Live Erica Lopez said Friday night into Saturday morning was slow.
Lopez said all entertainment businesses have to follow policy and protocol and meet with the Wichita Police Department monthly to ensure customers are safe.
“There were not that many people here. It wasn’t the capacity. It was the person, not the establishment,” said Erica Lopez, co-owner of Rock Island Live.
Lopez said they’ve had metal detectors, security, ID checks, and dress code for multiple years to avoid situations like this weekend’s shooting.
“What we are doing now works. We are going to review our policies considering new situations,” said Lopez.
Lopez said the gun that was brought into the club wasn’t caught by current security measures, prompting them to re-evaluate their policies.
Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan said he is meeting with the businesses this week to allow the businesses to present new security plans to the department.
“If we find that it is sufficient, we will give that a chance to play out,” said Chief Sullivan.
Chief Sullivan said if a business does not comply, he could impose sanctions such as suspending operations for 30 days, requiring businesses to hire security, and conducting more vigorous searches for people entering the establishments.
“I know at the one club there were VIP passes, and anyone with the VIP pass did not have to go through security, and that is just completely unacceptable. “What club was that at?” “That was at Club Onyx,” said Chief Sullivan.
Lopez said they and the Old Town music industry are dedicated to keeping people safe.
“I don’t think the solution is to shut down all entertainment places. I think that it is to review your policies and make sure that we are providing a safe environment for people to have fun,” said Lopez.
KSN News reached out to Onyx Nightclub multiple times for an interview but did not hear back.
As for gun violence so far this year, Wichita has seen a 21% increase compared to last year in aggravated assault or battery with a firearm discharged.
Chief Sullivan said that number is concerning and will evaluate new WPD strategies to address gun violence.