EAST END – The killings of two men outside Annie’s nightclub Monday come just three months after club operators, city officials and Cincinnati police agreed to increased security and other measures to try to curtail violence. The settlement was reached after the operators of Annie’s sued Cincinnati earlier this year when the city yanked its dance hall permit in light of the most recent shooting outside the club.
In November, a Cincinnati police sergeant had to defend his life by shooting and wounding a gunman who fired at him as he fled police. Officers were trying to apprehend the gunman after they spotted him firing shots in the club’s parking lot. Before that, two men were shot and wounded on the club’s dance floor in June 2008.
About 2:40 a.m. Monday, Daunte Phillips, 23, and Marcus Mitchell, 21, were fatally shot in the far end of the parking lot at Annie’s, 4343 Kellogg Ave., according to Cincinnati police. Several people were in the parking lot at the time and fled when shots were fired, police said.
Police have not released information on possible suspects or motives. They are searching for a maroon, 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe seen speeding away from the club following the homicides.
The shootings all had one common link, according to police: They occurred during or after weekly rap/hip hop concerts on Sunday nights that draw large crowds.
The Cincinnati police official who oversees Cincinnati’s 14 east side neighborhoods, including the East End, says the settlement for better security at Annie’s apparently didn’t go far enough.
Capt. Doug Wiesman is calling for Annie’s operators to pull the plug on the weekly rap/hip hop concerts. If not, he said, the city will go after the club’s dance hall and liquor licenses.
Wiesman said he plans to speak with Peter Georgeton, whose family has owned and operated Annie’s for years.
“We are going to have a serious conversation with them about the type of patron they are marketing to for Sunday nights and whether or not they want to do that,” Wiesman said. “With the concerns the police department has, and likely the communities that surround that place, we are going to want some changes. I don’t think what we did in the lawsuit was enough.