Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Cru Lounge loses business license after deadly shooting 

CW / Shelby West

The Tuscaloosa City Council unanimously revoked Cru Lounge’s business license Tuesday after a shooting on its premises killed one person last month. The four present members of the council held a public hearing and heard arguments from Cru and City Attorney Scott Holmes on the revocation. 

“Well, we felt like they had become a real problem for the city,” Councilor John Faile told CBS 42. “Obviously with the homicide that happened there, and prior to that, there were some issues with overcrowding.” 

Security guard Arron Hill is accused of shooting and killing Rashid Little, 28, after a physical altercation inside Cru Lounge. Hill fled the scene after the shooting and has been arrested and charged with murder.  

Holmes argued that Cru was at fault for failing to implement proper hiring practices. 

Holmes questioned Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit Capt. Marty Sellers, who said that Hill was unlicensed by the Alabama Security Regulatory Board.  

Cru had hired Grizzly Security, a private contracting group, which was also unlicensed by the board. Grizzly, in turn, hired Hill to work as a security guard.  

Sellers added that Hill had prior misdemeanor charges and a felony conviction while he was employed by Grizzly. Cam Parsons, an attorney representing Cru at the hearing, agreed that Hill had been convicted on a misdemeanor possession charge but said that Hill’s felony charge was pending.  

Holmes then questioned Tuscaloosa police Chief Brent Blankley to obtain more information about Cru’s prior violations. Blankley said Cru exceeded capacity multiple times, including on the night of the shooting. He said that on New Year’s Eve he gave Cru its “last warning” for exceeding capacity. 

Parsons argued that Grizzly was responsible for Hill’s actions rather than Cru, and that Cru employees did everything they could to prevent the shooting.  

One of the owners Parsons represented was Kevin Davis, who was on the scene the night of the shooting. Parsons said Davis was not aware of Hill’s name or the name of the company Cru employed him through at the time of the shooting. 

“The shooter was not an employee of Cru,” Parsons said. “Cru did not hire him; Cru did not vet him.” 

Parsons called Davis and Cru manager De’Andre Dixon as witnesses, and both testified that the shooting occurred too quickly for them to intervene. 

“There is no question a heinous crime was committed here,” Parsons said. “That crime was not caused by Cru.” 

After the floor opened to public comments, multiple of the victim’s family members spoke in favor of revoking Cru’s license. Mary Walker, the victim’s aunt, said that Cru’s managers deserved a portion of the blame for failing to de-escalate the situation, and she demanded the closing of the club. 

“If their backgrounds had been screened, maybe Rashid would still be here,” Katrina Stephens said, speaking on behalf of Little’s mother. 

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