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Neighbors Call Shooting Latest Problem at Club

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A man was wounded early Wednesday when a gunman started shooting at a crowd at a Simi Valley nightclub, which neighborhood residents say has become a regular nuisance.

Lance Stricker, a 21-year-old Simi Valley resident, was listed in good condition at Kaiser-Permanente Hospital in Woodland Hills after being shot once in the groin, authorities said. No one else was injured in the 12:30 a.m. incident at Cheers in the 1300 block of Los Angeles Avenue.

Stricker had been arguing with Dragan Terzeu, when Terzeu suddenly pulled a gun and began shooting, Lt. Robert Klamser said. The incident was not gang-related, he said.

When police arrived at the nightclub, Terzeu was chasing and shooting at people in the parking lot, Klamser said. Officer Paul Shreiner ordered Terzeu to stop, then shot at the suspect when he turned and pointed his gun at the officer, Klamser said. Terzeu was not hit.

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Terzeu was apprehended by police and members of the crowd, Klamser said. The suspect was later booked into Ventura County Jail.

Terzeu is expected to be charged with attempted murder and assault, Klamser said.

Police said they are uncertain what sparked the incident, but said the suspect and the victim apparently had been arguing inside the club. It was unclear if the two men knew each other.

Several residents who live nearby said they were awakened by gunshots and sirens. They said the nightclub has become a nuisance to their neighborhood and that they are constantly complaining to police about noise and traffic problems generated by the club.

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The owner of Cheers could not be reached for comment.

Pat Barclay, manager of a senior housing complex behind Cheers, said many of her tenants are afraid to go out at night because of possible harassment by patrons of the nightclub.

“We have a lot of people over 70 years old here, and they are frightened,” she said. “I’m sure everybody in the apartment complex would like to see that place closed down.”

Mark Strait, who owns a house nearby, said he also was upset by Wednesday’s shooting.

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“It’s a shame to see this kind of stuff happening,” he said. “I guess we’re going to have to get people together and form a neighborhood watch. We have to do something about it.”

Klamser said police have responded to an inordinate number of complaints from residents about the nightclub in recent years.

City officials said they will investigate any nuisance complaints made to the city, but that as long as the club owner complies with the conditions of his operating permit, there is not much else they can do.


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