1 dead, 3 wounded in shooting outside club

Investigators have been asked to determine whether club violated Occupancy Code

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Harris County Sheriff's detectives say they are searching for the gunman responsible for shooting several people Sunday morning in the parking lot of a popular after-hours night club.

Detectives said Timothy Powell, 21, died in parking lot of the La Cave nightclub on FM 1960 near Stuebner-Airline.

According to detectives, Powell died following a fight that began inside the club around 4:40 am.

"We were in the club, everybody was having fun," said patron Danashea Hampton. "Then they (were) just fighting and throwing up gang signs and all of a sudden I see the crowd going one way."

Hampton said she then saw bouncers ejecting several people from the club.

"All we just heard were gunshots," said Hampton.

Detectives said one person was dead, three more were wounded by gunfire and one man was "beaten" by the time deputies arrived.

Sergeant Ben Beall told KPRC Local 2 there were approximately 600 people inside the club at the time the fight started and no one is certain who was involved in the melee.

Beall said club managers were initially reluctant to allow detectives inside the club to review surveillance video, but later acquiesced. Beall said investigators hope video from inside the club will help pinpoint who may have been involved in the initial fight and subsequent shooting.

According to Beall, this is not the first sign of trouble at this business. Beall said there was another shooting in the parking lot of the club last weekend, but no one was hit. Last year, detectives said a fight that began in the club escalated to a shootout on Stuebner-Airline after several men were thrown out.

"County authorities have been in the process of trying to shut the business down," said Beall.

Beall said because of the size of the crowd inside the club at the time the fight began, investigators with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office have been asked to determine whether the club violated Occupancy Code by allowing too many people inside at one time.

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