KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A North Knoxville nightclub has been shut down for good after two deadly shootings led to a nuisance injunction last week.
Court documents provided by the Knox County district attorney’s office say Kevin Cherry, owner of The Vibe nightclub, formerly located at 2630 North Broadway, agreed to a permanent injunction.
The documents say the agreement means Cherry may remove the plywood boarding up the business and remove his belongings from the building. Cherry also agreed to surrender the business’s beer permit.
The building was boarded up last week under the state’s nuisance law after two deadly shootings and a long list of gang activity and violent behavior.
The building’s owner, Drumheller Real Estate Management Partnership, agreed to allow the Knoxville Police Department and/or the district attorney’s office to perform background checks on anyone who leases the building in the future.
A Knoxville woman was killed late last month after a number of shots rang out at the nightclub.
According to witnesses in the car with her, Jesse Roberts, 25, had stopped at the nearby Krystal and while sitting at the drive-thru window, was hit by a bullet that came from the direction of The Vibe nearby.
Roberts was taken to UT Medical Center where she died from her injuries.
A 21-year-old shot on New Year’s Day and later died was also shot at The Vibe.
Kyle Hixson, Knox County Deputy Attorney General, said his office said his office makes careful, strategic judgement calls before filing for a nuisance injunction.
“When the government comes in and boards up a house, we’ve nuisanced a lot of houses, that’s a really big deal. And it’s not something we want to do willy nilly,” Hixson said.
The nuisance ordinance has been a Tennessee law since the early 1900s, according to Hixson.
Some of the original definitions of a ‘nuisance’ property still exist, but now the definition also includes criminal activity such as gang violence.
“When the property reaches the point where it’s such a problem that it’s deteriorating from the quality of life in that community, or certainly if it’s creating a safety hazard, then that’s the time for the nuisance action to be taken,” Hixson explained.
He said the nuisance abatement only affects the specific property listed.
“We cannot foreclose that particular business owner from going out somewhere and starting another business or engaing in some other type of commerce,” Hixson said.