Business owners fed up after shootings they blame on nightclub

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Bennie Carter is fed up with his new neighbor, The Renaissance on Madison Avenue.

Over the weekend, police say a group of men started fighting inside, left, and then started shooting guns.

A band member from Murphy’s across the street was loading instruments in his car when he was struck by one of the bullets.

Most business owners out here tell us shootings are nothing new for the event hall.

“(The Renaissance owner will) have security out here, bullet proof vests,” said Alan Resnick, who owns a smoke shop next door.

He said no other business on Madison has a need for that type of security.

The sign out front says the Renaissance specializes in parties, so it's not really a nightclub.

Owner Ray White wouldn't speak on camera but says balloons stuck in power lines outside the facility show the event where the shooting happened was a graduation party, not a gang throw down.

He said there are not many locations for African-Americans to have a function in Memphis and he tries to fill that need with family friendly events.

“Well, why does he require six or seven guards when he has functions? He knows what he's getting into, he knows what danger he's putting the public in. It's not his place getting shot at, it's ours,” said Bennie Carter, owner of Murphy’s, a bar across the street.

While there are bullet holes in the neighboring businesses, Mayor Wharton's family law firm is right across the street. There are also the huge Overton Square improvements right down the road.

Business owners say they called the city and wrote the landlord.

But the owner of this smoke shop has just given up.

“My lease is up and I'm looking for another place,” said Resnick.

White plans an event next month with church pastors to help show his business is family-friendly and not connected with crime.


  • Hard Truths

    AC got both votes last time. He’ll get neither this time. Even a white candidate could beat him. He has been a placeholder. He should have stood up to King Willie long ago, win or lose.

      • Sheila

        To Whatever, If it burned down…that would be an improvement to the neighborhood. Thugs would have to find another place to fight and shoot their guns. May I suggest Hickory Hill or Frayser?

  • 1midtownmike

    “He said there are not many options for African-Americans to have a function and he tries to fill that need with family friendly events.”

    You can dress ’em up, but you can’t take ’em to town.

  • bambam84

    “Wharton’s Family’s Law firm is right across the street.” Gee. Wonder THIS particular incident’s garnishing attention? Smh.

  • Jim Donahue

    What with all the Black Churches in this town, there should be plenty of places to Party, and the Churches could use the money from rental and parking fees. Jeez people, Get your head out of your Tush.

  • Hunter S. Thompson

    Who wrote this? My cat has better grammatical skills than the genius who wrote this garbage. Anyway, Murphy’s not be known for shootings but it’s not exactly a wholesome environment & Rev. Bennie shouldn’t be casting stones. There’s no shortage of customers smoking dope non-stop on the patio at Murphy’s.

    • Not retarded

      Wow. So you’re saying that a bunch of kids smoking pot and is as bad or even comparable to shooting people? By the way, check your grammar. Brilliant. Your opinion matters.

    • Zeek

      First of all, you’re writing under the username Hunter Thompson and trying to talk about wholesome environments- that in itself is ripe for a good joke. Secondly, a guy got effing shot! How do you get off talking about how Murphy’s isn’t in the right either? And why do you tarnish such a legendary journalists name in the process? Leave Murphy’s and Gonzo out of this. For shame.

  • lazyskier

    That club is nothing but trouble. If you google the name, it is listed as a night club. The owner (Ray White) uses it as a photography studio during the day, and rents it out to the less desirables at night. Fights, arguments, shootings, drug selling…those are a few of the problems associated with that place.
    Ps. There is also a bullet hole in the wall of the smoke shop next door.

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