Shooting late at night at LoDo Club leaves two dead

A fatal shooting inside the Cabin Tap House in the early hours of New Year’s Day left two dead and two wounded.

“There are still two dead on the floor with blood everywhere,” said Valentes Corleons, the owner of the lodge, which opened late last year on 1919 Blake Street. Corleons, whose legal name is Hussam Kayali, also owns the Beta Event Center, the LoDo nightclub next door in 1909 Blake; Corleons was in Beta at the time of the shooting.

“The only information we have at this early stage is that the call came at 1:14 p.m.,” said Kurt Barnes, a spokesman for the Denver Police Department. “We got several people shot in the 1900 block of Blake Street. Two people were pronounced dead at the scene, an adult man and an adult woman. Two adult women were transported to local hospitals with an unknown condition at this time. And this investigation is continuing. ”

“Witnesses say he’s a white guy with glasses. He had that [the gun] under his shirt. He was wearing a jacket. And takes [the gun] and start shooting right and left, “Corleons says.” I’m shocked. It was like a tragedy. The people who were shot did not even know him. ”

Corleons notes that the cabin crew does not allow guns or knives into the club, so he is unsure how the shooter got the weapon.

A series of videos posted on Instagram around midnight by a cabin patron show a fight breaking out; about half a dozen men are seen hitting and kicking a person outside the camera. The video series ends with a shot of one of the bottle service workers performing chest compressions on a person lying on the floor.

The shooting comes at a time when the City of Denver is trying to shut down the Beta version based on offenses and offenses, such as failing to set occupancy limits and allowing drinking after work. The CEO of the Department of Excise and Licenses will soon decide whether Beta will lose its liquor and cabaret licenses, in line with a hearing consultant’s recommendation issued in December.

The hearing leader based his decision largely on the fact that Corleons presented himself to a police officer as a “made man” in the mafia, which Corleons says was not intended as a threat. But a Denver police officer also claims that the Corleons offered $ 10,000 bribes to make the city’s investigation of Beta disappear, a claim that the Corleons denies.

click to enlarge Valentes Corleons says he was inside Beta, his club next to the cabin, at the time of the shooting.  - EVAN SEMÓN

Valentes Corleons says he was inside Beta, his club next to the cabin, at the time of the shooting.

Evan Semón

In addition to law violations, the city is also concerned about increased violence in the 1900 block of Blake Street during the spring and summer of 2021; Law enforcement officials suggest that the source of much of the problem is Beta, which allows gang-affiliated people to enter the club, where they then end up in fights. An undercover police detective who entered the Beta in June as part of the city’s investigation was able to enter the club with a pistol in his waistband, despite having been patted down by staff at the entrance.

In addition to the excise and licensing campaign, lawyers in Denver are working to shut down Beta as a public nuisance. The next court hearing in Denver County in that case is scheduled for Jan. 13. Due to the filing of public nuisances, the Denver Police Department no longer makes police officers available at Corleons’ venues.

“They’re going to spend this big time. They’m going to say, ‘Look, we’ve told you,'” Corleons predicts. “It’s something that’s not my fault. I do not know why it keeps happening.”

Corleons bought the building that now houses the Cabin – and had been home to the Falling Rock Tap House for 24 years – in July for $ 2.5 million. He says he was in the process of selling the Cabin, and had a contract to complete the sale this month. And he adds that he may be selling his other venues, such as Beta, and moving to Sicily, where he says he was born.

Corleons concludes: “My mother says, ‘Just leave them alone. Buy a plane ticket, pack your things, and leave them standing.'”

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