Hearing delay in fatal nightclub shooting raises questions about commission 

A Fisherman’s Wharf nightclub with a history of violence, and where a shooting last week killed a Richmond man and injured four others, will have a hearing before the Entertainment Commission in two weeks — a delay that has residents grumbling about the commission’s effectiveness.

Suede nightclub, at 383 Bay St., was handed an emergency seven-day suspension after the Feb. 7 shooting, and the club owner agreed to voluntarily close until March 9.

Mayor Gavin Newsom said he has been meeting with Board of Supervisors President David Chiu in an effort to address the perceived inability of the commission to pull the permits for noisy and violent clubs. Any changes to the commission’s makeup would require a change to the City Charter and voter approval.

“Maybe it’s time to end, not mend, the commission,” Newsom said Tuesday. “I was a supporter of that commission, and at the time ... I think it was a good idea, but in practical application perhaps it’s not doing everything we had hoped — and you have to own up to that sometimes.”

Aline Estournes — property manager for Northpoint Shopping Centre, which is near the club — said private security has collected 12 reports of violence for Suede without any action from the commission.

“This is all borne by the tenants of Northpoint Shopping Centre,” Estournes said.

The club owner, Hanson Wong, did not return calls for comment.

The hearing comes as prosecutors weigh charges against a second suspect in the fatal shooting. William Josefa Agbekoh, 24, was arrested Sunday and booked on charges of murder, assault and conspiracy.

Lawon Marshawn Hall, 19, of Richmond, died after two men opened fire outside the Suede nightclub near Fisherman's Wharf, police said. Hallwas shot several times; three other men were also hit and survived.

One of the suspected gunmen, 20-year-old Keandre Davis, also of Richmond, was arrested after being shot by a patrol special officer assigned to help provide security for the club.


Bay City News contributed to this report

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