LUBBOCK, Texas — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has canceled the permit for a popular Lubbock nightclub following a double-fatal shooting on New Year's Day, the agency announced last Friday.
The announcement comes as police continue to search for a gunman who shot and killed 17-year-old Garyontae Shephard in the street in front of the Level nightclub and 24-year-old Dedrick Traylor inside the nightclub in the early morning hours of January 1, 2020.
Police say January's fatal shooting wasn't the only history of violence at the nightclub — grounds the TABC used in canceling the permit.
In a press conference following the shooting, Lubbock Police Department Chief Floyd Mitchell said their department had responded to seven assault calls in just over a month's time, between November 24 and January 1.
The TABC had initially suspended the club's liquor license for seven days immediately following the shooting and at the onset of their investigation. On January 10, 2020, the TABC a 90-day suspension — the longest such suspension handed down by the agency.
The owners of the Level nightclub, according to TABC, agreed to the cancellation of their permit following the TABC investigation. The latest action will permanently cancel the nightclub's liquor license under Section 11.61 (b)(7) of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code which authorizes TABC to revoke the permit of a business operating in a place or manner which could risk public health, safety, or welfare.
"TABC's first responsibility is to ensure public safety, and we will take strong action to ensure that any business licensed by the agency does not present a threat to the health and well-being of its community," TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles stated. "This agency is committed to working with our alcohol retailers and our local public safety partners to help keep our neighborhoods safe for all Texans."
Its unknown if the club will reopen.
The closure order does not assign liability for the murders, according to TABC, which remain under investigation by the Lubbock Police Department.