Mob turns ugly, shots fired at local nightclub
By Andrew Mitchell and Dana Michell
A 19-year-old male from Abbottsford is facing a charge of possession of a firearm for a dangerous purpose after he allegedly used a handgun to fire two shots into the door of a local nightclub.
According to the RCMP, members responded to a complaint of an assault outside of Tommy Africas nightclub at approximately 12:49 a.m. Tuesday, May 13, when a large group of males began to challenge and threaten the doormen and throw rocks at customers waiting in line at the club.
"Basically, what happened is that there was a large group of aggressive guys who we didnt allow entry into our club. A lot of them didnt have any I.D. or anything, so we turned them away," said Jon Tischuk, the general manager of Tommy Africas.
According to Tischuk, they came back in greater numbers and started to throw rocks at the customers who were waiting in line. Tischuk called the police, and the doormen from the club went outside to try and protect the people in line.
"There were about 25 of them and they were trying to pick fights with everybody. The doormen realized that some of them had weapons, so we were pretty relieved when the police turned up. The police arrested someone and the group kind of backed off," said Tischuk.
The doormen never saw any weapons, but some of the members of the crowd said they had them.
"Just when the police were leaving, the group came back, and they were still aggressive, and threatening people with weapons. Thats when we made the decision to shut the doors and get everyone in line inside for safety reasons."
People outside of the bar witnessed the shots, which were not audible from inside the club and barely marked what Tischuk said were $8,000 industrial steel doors.
The police came back to the scene and the witnesses provided the police with a description of the suspects. After a short investigation, the RCMP located the gun at a local hotel and arrested three males and two females from Abbotsford, age 17 to 19, for firearm offences. Until the owner of the gun can be established, it is common police procedure to arrest everyone.
The owner of the gun was held overnight, and transferred to court in North Vancouver to answer the charge Tuesday.
Tischuk said the club is looking into ways to prevent this kind of situation from taking place in the future. Some ideas include hiring extra security during the shoulder season, when groups from the city are drawn to Whistler by cheaper accommodation rates.