3rd homicide near, at Opp club

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Little Harlem is located on Hardin Street.

Little Harlem is located on Hardin Street.

In the wake of another deadly incident at the Little Harlem Club on Hardin Street in Opp on Sunday morning, city leaders are now looking for an answer for how to curb violence.

“This is the third homicide we’ve worked in or around the club,” Opp Chief of Police Mike McDonald said Monday, one day after 20-year-old Demetrice Hines was killed when gunfire rang out inside the building. Four other were also injured.

“This is the third violent crime I’ve worked there in my tenure,” said Covington County District Attorney Walt Merrell. “I believe the last one involved a man having his throat sliced open.”

Despite the history of violence, McDonald said in a press conference Monday that he did not expect the owners of the establishment to face any criminal charges.

Opp City Councilwoman Mary Brundidge, who represents the district where Little Harlem Club is located, said it is her understanding that the establishment does not have a liquor license, but was conducting a private party when the shooting occurred. Brundidge said, even if the club was following the letter of the law, a change still must be made.

“People in that neighborhood are wanting it closed down for good,” Brundidge said, adding, at the very least, more safety precautions are needed.

“There’s not much security, and you need security when you have that many kids in one place,” she said. “We want to keep the peace, and from what I hear, there could be some retaliation for this.”

Brundidge said the most effective tool at her disposal is to gather her constituents for a town hall meeting where they can voice their concerns.

“We’ll just have to get together on this,” she said.