MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) –
The Montgomery Police Department says it has arrested a second suspect in connection to a December 28 double-homicide and injury of six others at the Centennial Hill Bar and Grill, formerly known at the Rose Supper Club.
Authorities say 25-year-old Montgomery resident Darius Thomas turned himself in Wednesday night and was charged with two counts of capital murder in the deaths of 21-year-old Kimberle Johnson and 22-year-old Glenn Thomas, a rapper known as Doe B.
Thomas’ arrest follows the Sunday evening arrest of another Montgomery resident, 25-year-old Jason McWilliams. McWilliams faces the same charges.
Both suspects are being held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Facility.
While cases are being built against both suspects, family and friends are preparing to say goodbye to their loved ones.
Funeral services for Johnson, a Troy University student, and Doe B will both be held at True Divine Baptist Church on Troy Highway Saturday, according to the funeral homes handling the arrangements.
Johnson’s service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday. A visitation will be at the church at 9 a.m.
Doe B’s service will follow at 2 p.m. Saturday. A public visitation is scheduled for Friday from 1 to 6 p.m. at E.G. Cummings Memorial Funeral Home located at 1120 Bragg St.
On Saturday around 1:30 a.m., officers responded to the report of multiple shots fired at the nightclub located in the 900 block of Highland Ave.
When police arrived on the scene, they found Johnson and Thomas, both of Montgomery, suffering from gunshot wounds. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. Thomas was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Six additional victims with gunshot wounds were located on the scene. All were transported from the scene or by personal vehicle to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries.
Police say circumstances surrounding the shooting were initially unknown but further investigation indicated the shooting was a result of an ongoing dispute among McWilliams, D. Thomas and Doe B.
Following the shooting, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange ordered the business to be closed saying it is “an imminent threat to public safety.” The facility has been the scene of several homicides and shootings in its history.
An online petition to have the nightclub demolished gained momentum this week. The petition was handed to Mayor Strange with more than 2,000 signatures.
In response to the new petition, the mayor said the continuing threat to safety gave the city the authority to shut the business down, but the city doesn’t have authority to demolish the building.
The mayor released the following statement in response to the petition:
Active, involved and informed citizens are Montgomery’s greatest asset; and to all who have signed the Centennial Hill property online petition, thank you for your concern for the safety and welfare of our city. Thank you for your involvement in decision-making in the capital city. We need you and we rely upon you as we seek to serve as your mayor and City Council.
When we closed the Centennial Hill Bar and Grill on Saturday, we acted to address an imminent threat to the public’s safety. In the wake of Saturday’s shooting and this senseless loss of life, we had no confidence that this establishment could operate in safety and security, and strongly believed that its continued operation posed an imminent and continuing threat to the community.
The troubled history of this property without question was a factor in our decision to close the business. Issues of structural safety would have allowed the city to take an additional step and order the building demolished. But structural safety has never been an issue at this business; threats to the safety of its patrons have been of a different nature. The continuing threat to safety posed by the operation of this business gave us the authority to shut it down, but we have no legal authority to demolish the building.
There are families and friends today grieving the loss of their loved ones, and it is painful that the site of such tragedy still stands in our city. Yet as mayor, council and community, we have the power to determine the future of this property. We are of one mind with the good people of the Centennial Hill neighborhood. Any future operation or development at this site must be consistent with the wishes of the community and the safety of our city.
The fatal shootings are Montgomery’s 47th and 48th homicides of 2013.
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