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'It's not Reign's fault': People react to recent shootings on Washington Avenue

7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar is holding a public hearing on Friday to address the violence and nuisance complaints he said is generated from Reign

ST. LOUIS — Since May, the St. Louis Police Department seized 58 firearms during their Summer Violence Initiative Detail in downtown. 

With the recent shootings, El Burro Loco bartender Bryon Pierson and visitor Adrian Hubbard don't think it's fair to blame the businesses.

"It's not that these places downtown are bad places. It's just that we get some bad apples that come down and ruin some people's otherwise nice nights," Pierson said.

"People come down here for the nightlife, people come down here to enjoy themselves, and with that of course you're going to have bad elements that come down here that are attracted to that and they bring their problems down here to the area. So, I don't think it's on one particular business," Hubbard said.

Christopher Williams has lived downtown for almost a decade. He says the crime got worse when Reign Restaurant opened. 

He also witnessed his friend get shot last month on Washington Avenue by a man who they believe came from the nightclub.

"Cops sitting right in front of your place. You have shootings shooting right in front of your place. You have a parking lot closed because of you, but it's not your situation," Williams said.

The Sheriff's Office works with the St. Louis Police Department to patrol downtown areas. At around 6pm every weekend night, deputies block off this section of Washington Avenue from 11th Street to 14th Street until midnight.

"I think it deters just a little bit. I think we probably a few more cops down here," Williams said.

"It's hurting business for some of these, for us, because we're not getting the traffic of people just coming through," Pierson said.

On Friday, 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar is holding a public hearing to address the violence he says is generated from Reign.

"It's not Reign's fault. Every time we have a nightclub in downtown St. Louis, we have similar problems, but we should have a nightclub in St. Louis," Pierson said.

"I don't think it's fair to pinpoint blame on just one particular business because as a collective, everyone is responsible," Hubbard said.

"I plan on attending. I just want to hear what other people in other situations have to say about what's going on here," Williams said.

The first hearing is on Friday at 10 a.m. in Room 208 at City Hall.

A second hearing is scheduled for September 20th at 10:30 a.m. at the Municipal Court building in Room 278.

Both are open to the public.

We reached out to Reign's owner, but she was not available.