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Two Men Dead in Gentlemen's Club Shooting Identified

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COMANCHE CO., Okla_ Authorities have identified the two men dead after a weekend shooting at gentlemen's club in Comanche County.

Sheriff Kenny Stradley said the suspected gunman is 28-year-old George Whitney of Lawton. His alleged victim is 20-year-old Private First Class Jamar Mitchell.

The shooting happened around 2:30 am Sunday in the parking lot of the Platinum Gentlemen's Club on West Cache Road. Sheriff Stradley said Whitney allegedly shot Mitchell to death after an argument in the parking lot. Whitney tried to take off, but he was shot and killed by a bouncer at the club.

Authorities are still talking with witnesses to try to piece together how the situation spiraled out of control. They're also trying to figure out what led to the security guard shooting Whitney and whether the security guard was already armed. They said they are not sure if he actually used Whitney's gun.

Stradley said situations like these can be difficult to piece together, because the crime scene was complete chaos.

"Anytime you have chaos like that, people are going to run and by all rights, get out from danger," Stradley said. "They're going to get behind a car. We're still early on in the investigation."

He said this will be an investigation that involves talking to numerous witnesses, all with different points of view of the shooting. He said the security guard has been cooperating with investigators, and his deputies will watch over the club even closer than before.

"We've beefed up patrol their quite a bit," Stradley said. "That doesn't mean that we can't prevent something from happening, if we're taking a call somewhere else. We'll continue to go out there. I am working on a few things to try and make it better, but I think we've done a good job going out there as much as we do."

Several residents near the club said they're afraid that violence that's occurred in this parking lot will spill over onto their property, including stray bullets. They want to know what recourse they have, if any, to see some changes at this club.

The Platinum Club is in Comanche County Commissioner Don Hawthorne's district. He said concerned residents have two options in dealing with this issue.

"The sheriff can gather evidence and file with the district attorney," Hawthorne said. "He can build a case and go to court or the citizens themselves and file a complaint that it's a public nuisance. The judge can decide whether it is or isn't, and in my understanding, can shut the place down."

Stradley said no matter what happens with the club, it's important for patrons to be smart and safe.

"If you're going to a place, you need to think about whether or not you could get into a situation," Stradley said, "Because you could be an innocent bystander, and somebody starts shooting. Life's more precious than shooting someone and losing their life."

Residents say they've had problems with violence at that club for years. Various clubs on the property have been shut down and have opened under new names. Comanche County attorney Jerry Cude said there is case law precedent that states a property can be prevented from opening a similar business under a new name, if it can be proven that type of business is a nuisance to the public. 

7News spoke with management at the Platinum Club. They said that guns are not allowed inside, but it's hard for them to control what happens outside the club. They also said they will re-train their security team on what to look out for during potentially violent situations.

If you have any information about the shooting, call the Sheriff's Department at 580-353-4282.

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