VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Three people were shot outside of a Virginia Beach nightclub early Monday morning, just days after Sheriff Ken Stolle pulled part-time deputies from the area.
The shooting occurred outside of Bentley's Nightclub located at 544 Newtown Road around 2 a.m. When officers arrived on scene, they found one victim suffering from a gunshot wound.
A second victim later arrived at Leigh Memorial Hospital while a third arrived at Sentara Norfolk General. Both suffered gunshot wounds to the leg.
Moyers said none of the injuries are life threatening. The third victim is reportedly being uncooperative with police. Two of the victims are women.
Sheriff Ken Stolle with the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office told WAVY.com he suspended deputies from working part-time at certain establishments, including Bentley's, because he was worried about their safety.
"When you authorize deputies to go in these situations, they're providing for public safety, but you have to be worried about the safety of the deputies, as well," Stolle said. "Based on the information I had, I was convinced we couldn't provide for the safety of the deputies or the public, so I needed to get them out of there."
Deputies were pulled from the following locations prior to the shooting:
- Guadalajara's at Town Center
- Hot Tuna
- Latitudes Bar and Grill
- Lynnhaven Fish House
- Rudee's Restaurant
The deputies would wear their uniforms while working private security at the bars.
Stolle said Bentley's was the biggest problem, by far. Police responded to 300 calls at the club in the last year, and that resulted in 19 arrests.
"Bentley's was a constant problem," Stolle said. "It was generating from the inside and spilling out into the parking lot where the deputies were and that is exactly what happened last night."
Critics said the violence may not have happened if the deputies were in the parking lot.
"That sounds dumb," said Terrance Smith, who works nearby. "Ain't that their job... to protect people, protect and serve?"
Stolle's response was to point at all the incidents that happened while deputies were there. He said having deputies outside dangerous clubs gives patrons a false sense of security.
"Any of those wounds could have been fatal," Stolle said. "Had the guy been a better shot, they may have been fatal."
Calls to Bentley's management were not returned.
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