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Aug 2, 2022

Nightclub Owner Under Investigation After Deadly Hopkins Day Shooting

Tonight, the proprietor of the nightclub where the tragic mass shooting took place over the weekend is under intense fire.  He is being investigated for a number of violations that may have amplified the extreme attack on his guests.  Bernard Nunez is the owner of Wabinaha Nightclub and Saturday night, he was operating his business illegally.  That’s according to the Commissioner of Police who says that Nunez failed to ensure the safety of his patrons when he did not hire police security and locked the backdoor of his premises, preventing patrons from evacuating the location.  Here again is Isani Cayetano.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The deadly shooting inside Wabinaha Night Club on Sunday morning, has raised serious concerns about the safety of patrons at these kinds of establishments.  At the time of the attack, the backdoor of the building was locked, preventing anyone inside from being able to escape the onslaught.


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

Chester Williams

“There are compliance issues.  I can tell you now that we are looking at something to be done to the owners because when the shooting took place last night, the rules when you get a liquor license are that you must have a separate exit from the entrance.  The establishment does have a separate exit, but when the thing took place last night, the exit was locked with a padlock and people were inside the building scrambling, trying to get out and they could not have gotten out because the exit was locked.”


The owner of the business is Bernard Nunez, a retired police officer.  He made the news a few weeks ago when his neighbor’s property, Ella’s Cool Spot, was torched in what was believed to be a case of arson.  In the case of the mass shooting inside Wabinaha Nightclub, Francis Nunez told News Five that his sibling was behind the bar serving his patrons when gunfire erupted.


Isani Cayetano

“Your brother, as you said, is the proprietor of this establishment.  Where is your brother and where was he last night?”


Francis “World” Nunez

Francis “World” Nunez, Eyewitness

“He was there.  He was behind his [counter] bartending.  He was entertaining and treating his guests the proper and nice way.  That’s Bernard Nunez. That’s my brother.”


The nightclub owner is now the subject of a separate investigation into violations that occurred at his establishment which may have resulted in the high number of injuries during the incident.


Chester Williams

“The proprietor of the establishment is being investigated for failure to provide adequate security.  That should tell you that no police officer or officers were working at that establishment.  From what we have been briefed, the [proprietor] had some civilian as security.  The police officers who were in the nightclub had just arrived there because due to Hopkins Day activities, the O.C was moving around the village making sure that everything was going okay and he made a stop at the nightclub at the same time the incident occurred.  So he and the other officers were not engaged in no special duty at the event.”


While the entrance faces the main street, the exit at the rear of the building was shut off from patrons.  In attempting to escape the barrage of bullets fired in their direction, patrons basically had to flee in the direction of their attackers.


Chester Williams

“They had to make their way through the same door where the gunmen were, putting them more at risk and that, for sure, is a no-no and it has to be addressed.  So it something that we are looking at to see what can be done with the proprietor because certainly, he was operating illegally.”


In reflecting on the Hopkins Day festivities, Francis Nunez says that prior to the deadly encounter, people were simply there to have a nice time and celebrate in peace.


Francis Nunez

“It was so beautiful.  Nice.  People passing by, people coming by, buy their drink, have a nice time.  That was what we were looking for, not killing or shooting.  We don’t believe eena that.  We don’t believe in it.”


Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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