60 shots fired at night club; Maplewood calls emergency meeting to address Stargate nightclub shooting

Published 9:28 am Monday, February 20, 2017

By Erin Adler

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Maplewood city officials will discuss the future of the Stargate nightclub at an emergency City Council meeting Wednesday, after 60 gunshots were fired there over the weekend, according to Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell.

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Five people were injured early Saturday after a fight broke at the club, which is on Rice Street at Larpenteur Avenue.

One gunshot was fired inside and dozens more rang out in the parking lot as frenzied patrons spilled outside.

No one was seriously hurt despite the number of shots fired, Schnell said.

“I know [the owner] has invested a lot of time, effort and real money to try to make this business go, but this can’t go on,” Schnell said, adding that the owner has been very cooperative.

The question at Wednesday’s 8 a.m. meeting will be whether the city can set conditions to improve safety on weekends, Schnell said.

In terms of sanctions, the council has a “full range of options,” including temporary closure, license suspension on weekend nights, requiring more security guards to be stationed in problem areas like the parking lot, more stringent ID and search protocols, or added technology measures.

The club’s license could also be revoked, based on “significant public safety concerns,” Schnell said.

The City Council had already planned to talk with Stargate’s owner about safety at an upcoming meeting, said Mayor Nora Slawik, but the recent incident made things more urgent.

Club owner Paul Xiong met with the council last summer shortly after he took ownership. There had been problems with large crowds and “uncontrollable behavior.”

Xiong agreed to stop hosting 18-plus nights, Slawik said.

Xiong couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday.

Shots were fired in the parking lot in the summer of 2016.

Other incidents include a 2011 stabbing and a May 2015 incident where a 20-year-old was shot and killed by a Stargate security guard.

Problems arose again this winter, Schnell said.

On Saturday, 35 to 40 police officers from the Roseville and St. Paul police departments and from the State Patrol were present as a result of the gunshots, Schnell said.

“We’re down to the point where we have to fix this once and for all, ideally,” Slawik said.