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Mayor asks state to revoke liquor license of problem bar
Mayor Denis Law is asking the Washington State Liquor Control Board to revoke the liquor license from a bar on Airport Way following a homicide in its parking lot this past weekend.
Police were called to the HomeRun Restaurant and Lounge at 11 p.m. June 21 after a number of 911 calls reporting a shooting. Officers found a 27-year-old Kent man with multiple gunshot wounds laying in the parking lot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
It was the third shooting this year at the bar and the eighth since 2012.
As of press time, the man's name had not yet been released.
According to Detective Robert Onishi, it is unknown what caused the shooting, but he said he did not think the incident was "random" because the victim had a criminal past.
In his letter, Law stated the man was affiliated with gang activity and said the killing "continues a pattern of serious violence associated with this restaurant and bar."
"Illegal activity at this establishment has become a serious public safety concern for us and we are asking for some help from your agency," he wrote.
According to the mayor's letter, police have responded to 215 calls at HomeRun in the past two-and-a-half years, ranging from late-night noise to assaults.
In once recent incident, Law said police were in the lot when shots were fired.
"Residents in the neighborhood have felt under siege for several years and routinely call us and address the city council voicing their genuine fears for the safety of their families," Law wrote.
Onishi said he did not know what to attribute the violence, but said there were an "unusual number" of violent incidents at the location.
Last September, the city sent a letter to the restaurant's owner advising him of the city's concerns and advising them of a new nuisance ordinance that could result in criminal penalties and requests for civil injunctions.
"The only response we received was from his attorney suggesting that our actions were based on the racial ethnicity of his client," the letter states.
The mayor said the city and police are doing everything they can to address the issue, but again cited the violence and pressed the Liquor Control Board to act.
"I'm urging you to help us by taking whatever steps you can to revoke the liquor license from this establishment before there is more violence or an innocent person is killed," he wrote.
Calls and emails to HomeRun Restaurant and Lounge were not returned by press time.