Nineteen people who were injured during a mass shooting last year at a Little Rock nightclub are suing the manager of the Power Ultra Lounge and its property owner. Twenty-five people were hit when gunfire erupted between rival gang members at a performance by the rapper known as Finese2Tymes. Three others were injured while trying to escape the club.
Attorney Solomon Radner of Southfield, Mich. says the club was negligent by failing to have adequately trained security and staff for that kind of event.
"This was something that was promoted for violence. If you saw the promotional fliers, they involved guns. It was clear that this was going to be attracting violence and when you want to put on a concert, which is going to attract violence – if you’re going to do that – you have to provide adequate security," Radner said.
Two people who were at the concert by the rapper, whose real name is Ricky Hampton, spoke alongside the attorney during a press conference Wednesday announcing the filing of the lawsuit.
Tasheara Slocum said she was shot in the side as gunfire was coming from all directions during the early morning hours of July 1, 2017.
"My life and the lives of many others was changed forever," Slocum said. "I had no idea that I should have been prepared for a mass shooting. I am a plaintiff to this lawsuit because I believe the victims of the Power Ultra Lounge shooting deserve better."
Another plaintiff, Tyrone Jackson, said he wasn’t hit by gunfire, but suffered emotional trauma from being shot at and witnessing somebody being hit nearby. His younger brother was among those performing during the concert. Jackson said he had been to club before, but something seemed wrong before the shooting began.
"It didn’t feel like a regular night. It was just really, really crowded," Jackson said. "My little brother performed and I was like, I don’t know if I want to do this, you know what I’m saying? It’s like too much is going on and it’s just like the whole thing was out of control."
The 23-page court filing includes a list of criminal incidents that had occured at the club prior to the mass shooting and ways that the manager and property owner allegedly failed to adequately respond.
While the club had metal detectors, Radner said they were only being used randomly on patrons.
"Reports say that there were 13 shooters that were there. How did 13 shooters get their guns in there when other people were being frisked and wanded? How do long guns get in there, something that looks like an AR [assault rifle]? How does that get in to a place like this when there’s actual security? There’s just no way. Security was at the very least negligent if not outright reckless," Radner said.
The defendants, club manager Herman Lewis and the property owner, 6th and Center LLC, could not be reached for comment. Power Ultra Lounge is no longer open in the building.