Winchester Road residents want shootings to stop

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Posted at 6:40 PM, Dec 07, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Winchester Road residents are again calling for city leaders to take action to address shootings in their area.

Neighbors and business owners met with city leaders over the summer after three people were killed.

Over the weekend, there were two more shootings near the 900th block of Winchester Rd.

"I've seen people running out of sheer terror screaming because somebody was shot and murdered," said a woman who lives nearby.

There've been 127 shootings across Lexington just this year. Twenty percent of those shootings happened on the same five streets: Lorence Ave, Ohio Street, Chestnut Street, East Fifth Street, and Winchester road.
Around 4% of shootings in Lexington this year have happened on Winchester Road.

"At this point, I've lost count of it, which is really, really sad," said the woman. "My two girls and my little boy are facing the street in the bedrooms, and at any point, it could come through. That's terrifying, like going to bed not knowing if your house is going to get a bullet in it."

Neighbors on the other side of the street are feeling the same way.

"It's scary because I have a child, and I'm always worried about a bullet," said another woman.

They want something to be done about the crowd and violence they believe is connected to a strip club in the area.

"There's nothing else open that late at night," said a man who is constantly waken up by its patrons. "I don't have nothing against the business. But when people come out of that place, they need to control the crowd because they come over here."

He says neighbors' homes have been hit by stray bullets. The parking lot near the strip club is often a gathering spot after it closes.

"I would like it if they can block this off. The block that enters off Winchester Road, which used to be blocked off. If they were blocked out. I think that would solve a lot of problems because they can't get away. If there's a shooting over there," he explained.

Other neighbors want to see more police during and after the club's hours of operation.

"It could happen anywhere, but it's constantly happening here. And all they have to do is step up the patrol," said one woman.

We reached out to the owners of The Player's Club, who took over the establishment less than a month ago. The owner Taz says the issue is bigger than just one business.

They recently did a Thanksgiving Turkey drive and are working to build a positive reputation.

"We've been doing everything we can to make it as peaceful as possible," said Taz. "Even putting murals up of people who passed away. We're just trying to change the name. When you're there you're safe."

"It's not happening inside or directly outside because our security is tight. But we're trying our hardest to make sure people feel safe when they come. We need more help from the community to have people get on board with us to stop the violence. That includes those coming out to support us," said Taz.

They feel some may view it as an easy target to start drama, as it is one of the only places in Lexington of its kind.

When we asked Lexington Police about what they plan to do, they told us they don't discuss any planning or procedures prior to any event.

Mayor Gorton's office sent this statement:

"Like cities all over the country, Lexington has seen an increase in shootings during the pandemic. While over the past year the rate of crime, including violent crime, has fallen, we know we still have work to do. Lexington dedicates public safety and other government resources to this part of town. We have funded additional neighborhood resource officers, and, through One Lexington, are working with the young people who are involved in gun violence to prevent shootings."