CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Violence at outside parties that are not tied to the CIAA has plagued the tournament in Charlotte for years.
"I'm very concerned about it,” said CIAA fan Alpha Hobbs.
Many fans said they are fed up with the violence erupting at local afterparties at nightclubs not affiliated with the basketball tournament.
"I think it brings a negative impact on the tournament and it shouldn't be,” said fan Patricia Poteat.
A fight broke out among rival rappers inside Palace Nightclub before being moved into the parking lot in uptown Charlotte around 2 a.m. Thursday morning that led to a man being shot in the leg.
The victim said he was not involved in a fight, but heard shots. He started running when he was shot.
No arrests have been made.
"It was just unfortunate because being a small business owner, being a business owner for that matter, we just wanted to provide a safe environment,” said Bennie Gray, owner of Palace Nightclub.
Last year, someone fired 100 shots in uptown during the tournament.
Sources told Channel 9 the gunfire was part of a feud between two rappers who were in town.
One of those rappers involved is returning to Charlotte this year to perform at Cameo Nightclub.
A city council member said he is concerned about the rapper's return.
“It did not make us feel well at all, knowing somebody made a rap song when 100 shots were fired in the city,” city council member James Mitchell said.
Mitchell said law enforcement is being very stern with local clubs holding afterparties in the city.
Channel 9 coverage on CIAA security:
- Contract with Charlotte up in 2020; CIAA focused on future
- Every CMPD officer will work Friday for CIAA, Billy Graham funeral
- City cracks down on club owners during CIAA Tournament
- Channel 9 rides along as CMPD checks bars, clubs ahead of CIAA weekend
"We communicated very strong language to the club owner of Cameo and made sure he would be responsible, and we want to make sure no negative activity will occur,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said after the tournament, the city will review safety and security to make sure they can continue to make the CIAA, and any events held near the tournament, safe.
Channel 9 checked The Palace’s Facebook page and found that they're promoting CIAA parties all weekend, including one that was held Wednesday.
The owner of The Palace said people were patted down and scanned by a wand before walking inside to make sure weapons were not brought in.
He will be making adjustments to security.
"We will staff even heavier and probably get a better police presence out here because we've partnered with all types of plans with CMPD,” Gray said.
Security will be a top priority in the coming days, with the tournament and the Rev. Billy Graham's funeral Friday. Channel 9 learned that no Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer is being allowed to take the day off.
There will be 1,900 officers available to work both events.
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Cox Media Group