Club Fever implements new policies after nearby shooting

SOUTH BEND, IND. -- Club Fever's owner is taking more steps to ensure patrons stay safe following a shooting in downtown South Bend Feb. 28.

The common council questioned owner Dee Davis about the incident Monday, trying to gain insight into what happened.

Davis wasn't at Club Fever the night of the shooting, but spoke to staff members who were working.

He says the club booked a DJ through a promoter they work with often. They were expecting up to 600 people at the show, but more than 1,000 showed up.

Davis says the DJ invited several artists from Chicago, Benton Harbor and Gary to come along, who promoted the event on social media. He believes that's what drew the large crowd.

But, Davis says Club Fever was prepared to handle the unexpected boost in ticket sales. They had 15 security personnel and 5 off-duty police officers working.

At some point during the night, Davis says a fight broke out on the second floor of the club, where 50 to 75 people were gathered. The lights were turned on and those involved were escorted out.

"We stopped the bar and everybody left," he said. "Until we heard shots were outside."

Club Fever was then put on lock down until the police cleared the scene.

Davis says it appears the incident occurred between two people who didn't get along. He says current policies prevent people from bringing any type of weapons inside. During concerts, security uses metal detectors and pats people down before they're allowed inside.

But, Davis says he's already implemented more policies that will help prevent other incidents.

The day after the shooting, he drafted a promoter agreement, which allows Club Fever to cap the number of people allowed at events. That will help them prevent overwhelming crowds in the future.

The agreement also allows Club Fever to kick out entertainers who promote malice or violence. And, any advertisement of events -- including on social media -- must be approved by Club Fever.

"It really hit home when this happened outside of my establishment," Davis said. "We try to promote all kinds of different entertainment. This one didn't work so well."

The council will stay in contact with Davis as they consider whether to update current ordinances regarding rules for large events downtown. Many council members say they're pleased with the dedication Davis has demonstrated to keeping violence out of downtown.

"You heard all the things that he's done already to improve it and you can tell it's someone who's genuine," said Councilman Derek Dieter.


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