Lawton, OKLa._Two men were killed early Sunday morning in a shooting outside the Platinum Gentlemen's Club in western Comanche County. Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley said the shooting happened around 2:30 Sunday morning, after the two men were seen arguing when one them pulled a gun and opened fire. The initial victim has only been identified as a 20-year-old soldier. The suspected shooter also died after witnesses said he was tackled by a bouncer who later shot him.
The Platinum Club manager said inside his doors moments before the shooting, all was calm. He said the volatile arguments happened outside after the club had closed. He credits the bouncer who shot the suspected gunman for saving countless lives, because the suspected gunman opened fire into the crowd after the initial shooting.
Residents who live near the club said they're sick of the sirens, the shootings, and the constant fear they live in. Stanton Ward lives right behind the club. He said last night's shootings are an eerie deja vu. He said he and his neighbors have been complaining to the sheriff's department about the club since 2007, when the property was then known as Night Trips and two people were shot and killed outside the club.
"It's not a potential threat, it is a threat. Again, four people are dead. They've been warned after the first one was dead. Warned after the second one was shot and killed. Warned in April after another shooting occurred in the parking lot. That we don't like out here and something needs to be done", said Ward.
Ward said this issue is not about morality, it's about the dangerous situations that have been occurring at this club. He said he's even had to build a 500 foot long, sixty-foot wide burm to protect his family from stray bullets.
"Not only have their been four homicides at that location as a strip club, maybe under different name. But three of them soldiers at 20, 21 years old have lost their lives because of the violence. So, we have a fear that we might be watching TV and a bullet fly through the window and hit one of our children. Or, one of us," said Ward.
He said he realizes that the club's owners have every right to be there and to operate under the law...but they need to be more aware of their surroundings.
"They ought to operate under a manner that's friendly and cohesive to the people in the surrounding area. These are rural residents", said Ward.
Ward said he and other concerned residents want county officials and the sheriff's department to put more pressure on the club, to keep both nearby residents and the club's patrons safe.
"They passed laws in our city limits to ban adult entertainment. So, they did the natural thing to move to the outskirts of the city limits. Problem is there's not enough law enforcement to enforce or to curb violence that may happen so it's the wild west", he said.
The Platinum Club has a sign out front that says firearms are not allowed on the property. The manager said the club tries their best to control that. He said guns are not allowed inside, but admits it's hard to control what a person does once outside the club. He did say that in light of the recent shootings, they will re-train their security team on what to lookout for during potentially violent situations.