The Police Department will increase patrols at a popular nightclub where a man was shot and critically wounded last weekend, Chief Patrick McKinley said Wednesday.
“I want more uniformed presence inside the location,” McKinley said. “I want our uniformed officers getting out of their cars and making inspections in there.”
A Gardena man was shot four times Sunday when a fight broke out among 20 young men outside the nightclub, Diamond Restaurant and Dancing, according to police.
McKinley said he wants to work with owners of the club, at 904 W. Orangethorpe Ave., to strengthen security, especially in the club’s large parking lot.
Sgt. Joe Kline, who heads gang investigations for the department, is concerned about the number of violent incidents at the club.
“We’ve had numerous incidents,” Kline said. “It’s a very difficult place out there.”
The club’s owners didn’t respond to numerous requests for comment.
Meanwhile, Ha Ton, the victim of Sunday’s shooting, remains in intensive care at UCI Medical Center in Orange with chest, stomach and arm wounds.
Kline said 10 rounds were fired from semiautomatic handguns in the incident, which may have been gang-related.
“The victim made statements that it was an intentional act by a gang,” Kline said. He said the department is interviewing about 10 witnesses to the shooting.
The Anaheim Police Department is investigating a killing on the Riverside Freeway after the victim left the Diamond club, according to Lt. Vince Howard.
Howard said a 21-year-old man was fatally shot Aug. 13 in a car after having a “conversation” with others at the club. Police have made no arrests, but believe the victim was shot by other men who were at the club, Howard said.
In another incident, a 20-year-old Garden Grove man was held on charges of threatening patrons inside the club with a handgun on Aug. 20, according to Fullerton Police Sgt. Glenn Deveney.
However, Vern McCasland, a regular patron who is also a contractor renovating the club, says the people who come to the club are not troublemakers.
“It’s like any other nightclub,” McCasland said. “It’s not any different from any other place that’s big.” McCasland said he has never seen anyone brandish weapons.
The club showcases Vietnamese singers who play everything from rock to traditional songs, he said.
McCasland said there have been no fights inside the club, where a metal detector screen patrons before they can enter the dance hall.
He acknowledged that people sometimes get rowdy in the large parking lot, which is shared with a Smith’s Food and Drug Center.
But Klein argued that the club must control its customers, even in the parking lot.
“If the establishment out there can’t take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the community, then we need to take a look at whether the city can continue to let that establishment maintain a business license,” Klein said.
But City Manager James L. Armstrong said the city cannot use a business license to control an establishment.
McKinley hopes the owners will help improve security. “They’ve been cooperative in the past,” he said.