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Police: Club was scene of multiple shootings, drug deals in past


ALTOONA, Pa. -- One man is dead following a late-night shooting at a nightclub in Altoona. While investigators have the suspected shooter in custody, they told 6 News the establishment has seen its fair share of crime.

6 News checked its records and confirmed with police multiple shootings at the club over the past decade, including one that involved a man who was recently found murdered in Johnstown.

Police said William Solomon, 33, was shot and killed inside the Choice's nightclub along 6th Avenue in Altoona late Thursday evening. Police said the man they allege shot him, Hugo Baez, is in custody.

"The entire incident was captured on surveillance video from the initial confrontation to the actual shooting," said Lt. Jeffrey Pratt of the Altoona Police Department.

But it's not the first time the establishment has made the headlines. It's a place police said they're very familiar with.

"Shooting, gun calls, fight calls, disturbance calls ... We've had numerous incidents," said Pratt.

6 News looked back through it's own archives and found several incidents of the club over the past decade.

"The bar has gone through several name changes during my employment. At one point in time it was called the Mirage and then it became the Tin Cup," said Pratt.

It was at the Tin Cup in 2006 that police said two ment were shot outside the club in front of 25 people. But police said those witnesses claimed they didn't see a thing and said one of the men who was shot, Kevin Burt, asked that the investigation be ended. Fast forward seven years, Burt and his girlfriend were found shot to death inside their Johnstown home just last month. Police are still trying to find out who did it.

In 2009, police said someone fired five shots at the club damaging the building and a nearby car. No one was hurt, but during the investigation police said they found a half pound of marijuana and several assault rifles inside.

Neighbors told 6 News Thursday they put up with problems for years and are tired of feeling unsafe inside their own homes. But the managers of the establishment, now called Club Nxt, said what happened in the past shouldn't be associated with Club Nxt.

The managers at the club told 6 News Friday couldn't prevent what happened Thursday night but said they're in mourning because they considered Solomon part of their family. They said they plan to hold a candlelight vigil for him Friday night.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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