Police Continue Investigation of Downtown Mall Shooting - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Police Continue Investigation of Downtown Mall Shooting

Posted: Updated:

Charlottesville police are piecing together what happened during a shooting that involved an officer near the city's downtown mall.  It happened over the weekend, and sent two men to the hospital.

Police are being very tight-lipped about the ongoing investigation but the search warrants paint a very vivid picture of what took place on Second Street Northwest early Saturday morning.

A witness told police just  that before 1 a.m. Saturday, a group of people rushed out of Elks Lodge (I.B.P.O.E. of W. Rivanna #195). The witness says the following events occurred afterwards: a taller man came out of nowhere and asked another shorter man "what are you going to do to me?" A group of men then jumped on the taller man and took him to the ground. The man sprung up, pulled out a gun, and shot the shorter man. As he moved forward with his gun lowered, ready to shoot again, an officer told the man to drop his weapon, then fired at the shooter.

Officer Alex Bruner was one of the first officers on scene and reported firing twice.

Nearby business owners say parties at the downtown Elks Lodge are always out of hand and they hope this tragic incident will force the city to step in.

"The mall is safer than it's ever been. And I've been here for fourteen years. But the problems that we have, they seem to always occur after midnight. And unfortunately a lot of the - some of the problems have come from the Elks Lodge," said Robert Sawrey, owner of Downtown Grille.  

Sawrey says he hopes the city will make room in the budget for more police enforcement after midnight. 

Police have still not released the names of either of the men involved but we have been able to confirm that the first victim is in fair condition at the UVA Medical Center.

So far, no one at Elks Lodge will comment.

Elks Lodge Differentiation and Clarification

With two Elks Lodges so close to one another, there has been some confusion about which members were involved in this weekend's shooting.  

The two organizations have almost exactly the same name and similar missions - but share no affiliation.   

The lodge near the downtown mall is an international group - Improved Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks of the World -  and the one located on Pantops is the American-based Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks.

"It could happen anywhere, it doesn't have to be an Elks Lodge, but we would just like to clarify that we are two separate entities. However our hearts are heavy and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families," said William Hussey, Elks Lodge (Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks) Officer.

Hussey says he has been receiving calls from sponsors all day and wants to make it clear his organization was not involved in what happened Saturday night.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVIR. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.