MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Three people were rushed to the hospital just after midnight Tuesday morning after a suspect opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun inside a troubled airport-area nightclub.
Pure Passion was hosting a female boxing event overnight. Despite having two different types of security, authorities said the suspect was able to get into the event with a semi- automatic handgun and fired shots around 1 a.m. Tuesday.
One person was transported to Methodist Central Hospital while two others made their way by private vehicle to the Regional Medical Center. All three victims were listed in non-critical condition.
Police confirmed that the suspect who fired the shots was taken into custody, but did not identify him.
Several hours after the shooting, police announced the arrest of Adam Nickson on charges of unlawful possession of a weapon. Police said a security guard saw him running from the club with a stolen gun in his hand after shots were fired inside. It's unclear if he is the person who opened fire.
A troubled history
This is not the first time WREG has covered Pure Passion and it's troubled past. In September 2017, two men were shot and one was killed during a drive-by at the nightclub.
“I heard about them all the time. It’s always violence there,” said mother of three Shondrikka Ross, who lives nearby. "It shouldn’t be open because if violence in the place anything can happen.”
The district attorney's office shut down Pure Passion back in 2008 for being a public nuisance related to drug deals.
But when they reopened, trouble continued — so much so that in 2016, the nightclub voluntarily closed after multiple shootings outside left at least five people injured.
District Attorney Amy Weirich said her office might need to take action again.
“In November of 2016, the owners of the Pure Passion nightclub agreed to close temporarily and take steps to improve security in and around the club for the safety of patrons, nearby businesses and the surrounding community. In light of these shootings, we are reviewing whether further action is necessary," she said in a statement Tuesday.
When they reopened, owners agreed to increase security and have cameras monitored by Memphis Police.
A former security guard said he followed the new, stricter procedures. But something seems to have changed.
“I was surprised to hear there was a shooting inside because to me, it seems like security ain't doing their job now," the former guard said. "You are supposed to pat down, wand down, all that.”
Ross hopes for the sake of her three kids, that the D.A.’s office will listen this time.
“I think it should be closed and not reopen because every time they open, get a second chance they blow it by involving crime and negative energy,” she said.