KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Inside the walls of El Pulpo Loco, the manager still sees possibility. He said it's a place for Latin dancing, where people can come to unwind. One day, he'd like to open it as a sports bar in the afternoons.
Right now, however, the team at El Pulpo Loco is trying to figure out how to keep everyone safe.
The Knoxville Police Department said one person died and two others were hospitalized after a shooting outside the El Pulpo Loco nightclub early Sunday morning.
Officers responded to a different shooting outside the nightclub on September 25, where two people were also wounded.
"I've heard a lot of calls around public safety and people want to feel safe at home," Knoxville Councilman Tommy Smith said. "Everybody in Knoxville has a role to play in public safety, businesses included. So, they either contribute a positive impact to the community or they face consequences just like everybody else."
El Pulpo Loco said it's saddened by the recent violence outside their building. They told 10News they're doing everything they can to keep people safe inside, but can't control everything that happens outside.
They're increasing the number of bouncers inside the club from seven to ten and asking the Knoxville Police Department to have two officers stationed outside.
KPD told 10News has not and will not authorize officers to work secondary employment at El Pulpo Loco. The department said any measures it takes at that location will be done as it deems most appropriate.
If that doesn't help customers feel safe, El Pulpo Loco fears it might have to close.
"The DA's office and law enforcement work hand in hand with the property. Law enforcement helps us gather the calls for service and the number of times they've been out there," Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen said. "Oftentimes, we will employ particular law enforcement techniques to try to stop the nuisance from happening at a particular establishment before we'll actually go into court and file a nuisance."
Gen. Allen said it typically takes a pattern of disruptive behaviors like prostitution, drugs, drinking, fighting and/or lewdness to begin nuisance proceedings.
Knox County 911 told 10News it had no records of calls for service to the nightclub at 2909 Alcoa Highway from September 15, 2022 through October 10, 2022.