WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The shooting death at Club 609 early Sunday morning marks the second murder at a Wilmington night club this year. Some people say after the Rhino Club closed down following the murder of a gang leader, Club 609 became the new hang out and attracted the same crowd.
Myron Lloyd says he used go to the Rhino Club in downtown Wilmington. Since they’ve closed their doors, he says a lot of the same people go to Club 609 at 4418 Market Street. He says Rhino and 609 were just easier to get into than most clubs in Wilmington.
“You’ve gotta be a college ID student, or you have to dress a certain type of way. You have to be dressed to get into certain places now, and like I said, 609 and Rhino you didn’t have to do all of that,” Lloyd said.
Jennifer Bryant agrees. Though she hasn’t been to Club 609 in a while, she says a lot of her friends go there instead of other places because of the cheap cover charge.
“Their covers are five dollars, and sometimes it’s free for ladies and then the fellas just have to pay five or 10 at 609,” she said.
The Rhino Club lost its alcohol permits soon after 19-year-old Taaron Jones was stabbed to death after closing time. Now the ABC is investigating Club 609 following the shooting death of 20-year-old
Tremayne “Pete” Blanks Sunday morning.
Alcohol Law Enforcement agent Bill Berryhill says ALE is working with Alcohol Beverage Control in Raleigh along with Wilmington Police to investigate what goes on inside the night club.
“The Alcohol Law Enforcement Division looks at any place where acts of violence occur, and once we determine it is a place where repeated acts of violence occur, we notify the North Carolina ABC Commission,” Berryhill said.
Alex Metts says he’s been to 609 a few times. He says there is underage drinking there.
“Oh yeah, I know for a fact that people that go to the club that are like 16, and they don’t know how to handle their alcohol, so they start acting wild and don’t know what to do,” Metts said.
Until the ABC can prove Club 609 is in violation of its alcohol permits, their doors will continue to stay open.
The death of Blanks outside of Club 609 is still under investigation.
We tried to reach the owner of Club 609 today, but the phone number we found for him was disconnected.