Police ID suspect in Purple Haze shooting that injured nine

Jeremy Beck

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —Purple Haze nightclub will temporarily close its doors after multiple victims were taken to the hospital early Monday morning following a shooting.

Monday evening, police identified the suspect in the shooting as Jeremy Beck. A warrant for his arrest has been issued for aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. No arrests have been made.

According to a police report obtained by WREG, nine people were injured after a fight broke out inside the nightclub around 3:30 a.m.

Police say four of the victims were shot inside of the club.

Two of those injured were listed in critical condition after they were both shot multiple times. Both of those individuals were rushed to the Regional Medical Center by ambulance along with two others listed in non-critical condition.

Several other victims later arrived at nearby hospitals by private vehicle, the police report said.

One of the individuals injured was a security officer, the nightclub said.

A man who was inside the nightclub at the time of the shooting told WREG what he saw.

"I heard gunshots. It was hectic, a few people got shot though," he said.

Gary Honic says he was on his early morning bike ride when the flashing blue lights blocked off the street.

"There's innocent people in there, people who just want to have a good time. There's no crime in having a good time,"

Purple Haze released the following statement on Monday:

"While measures were in place to detect the possession of firearms as patrons enter the club we are unsure at this time how those that discharged firearms were able to do so despite our strict security procedures.

As the safety and security of our guests and employees are our utmost concern we are temporarily closing for two weeks to review operations."

This shooting is the latest violent incident to take place in or near the downtown nightclub, which recently won a court battle to stay open later, until 5 a.m. A man was shot inside the club last Christmas and a woman was killed outside the club in March. The club said it would change its music selection to try to curb violence.

District Attorney General Amy Weirich, whose office has closed several nightclubs and businesses as public nuisances in the past, said she could not comment on Purple Haze, but released the following statement:

“We don’t comment on when or where a nuisance investigation may be in progress, but this club’s decision to voluntarily close for two weeks to assess its operation is an encouraging sign. I would strongly encourage them to take some meaningful steps to increase safety for their customers and for surrounding businesses.”