WASHINGTON - The front doors of CRU Hookah Lounge on H Street are now locked after a tragic shooting took place inside the establishment just before midnight Saturday.
Acting D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith submitted a letter to the Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Administration Director Monday calling for the immediate revocation of CRU Lounge’s liquor license.
"This violent offense, which resulted in the death of one individual and the serious wounding of three other individuals inside the establishment, can be connected to the operations and lax security protocols of the establishment," the letter reads. The chief mentions in the letter how a gun was allowed into the business "undetected" and how the shooting happened on the second floor – with the suspect able to flee.
The weekend shooting took the life of 31-year-old Blake Bozeman and left three others injured.
The condolences are still pouring in for Bozeman, who was known in the region as a star Morgan State basketball player and the son of a winning coach. He was also a husband and father to three young children.
FOX 5 also learned of how Bozeman served as a leader in the community, having started a non-profit that worked to help athletes find their careers if pro basketball was not for them.
"Certainly, we are troubled and devastated about the events and any loss of life in our city and I know MPD right now is very focused on the investigation and really needs the community support," said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday.
The mayor was asked at a Kick-off to Art Week event about what activists are calling a "culture issue," with people escalating an argument to gun violence.
"I wouldn’t call that a cultural issue. I would call that a cycle of violence some people are trapped in. And we try very hard to disrupt it and get them out of it or one way or the other," said Mayor Bowser, reminding FOX 5 of city programming working to either help people find opportunities or be held accountable.
The mayor’s administration highlighted the work that’s been done so far to address D.C. violence, including the mayor introducing legislation to help fill public safety gaps.
Photo via Bozeman family
Many are also looking at what role businesses play.
ABCA the acronym for Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration, the city agency that hands out liquor licenses, tells FOX 5 the lounge is licensed as a "restaurant."
Both the city and police are now investigating whether any business violations occurred there. Results are expected to be released by ABCA on Wednesday.
There was also an issue around H Street where a business owner closed up shop, claiming the area ANC was going after Black-owned businesses especially. The ANC denied this in another report, but the fatal shooting is raising questions whether this shooting could make it even harder for Black business owners.
Anwar Saleem, executive director of H Street Main Street, has been working on the revitalization of the H Street corridor for years.
"I think Black businesses have to come together, and I’m going to lead the process on H St," Saleem told FOX 5. "We have to come together. We have to figure out where our holes are. Where our shortcomings are and how we can fix it. Because this right here is a shot in the arm in a negative sense to Black businesses, and we have to find a way to fix it."
An ABCA representative told FOX 5 that the lounge did not have any previous violations.
Cru Lounge shared on Instagram that they work with security partners daily. In a post, they called the situation heartbreaking, saying that a "rogue act of senseless violence occurred in their establishment."
"It’s tragic. It reminds you that you’re mortal and that life is very finite," said Kyle Snedecor, who frequents the H Street corridor.
Since the news of Bozeman's passing, the region's sports community has flooded social media with heartfelt posts and remembrances.
Bozeman played basketball at Morgan State University from 2011 to 2015 where his father Todd Bozeman coached.
"The Morgan family extends our deepest condolences and prayers to the Bozeman family and friends. Our family was an extension of his and he was a shining example of what it means to be a student-athlete," the university said in a statement.
Before his time playing with the Bears, he spent some time at Paul VI Catholic High School.
Credit: Carroll Smith
"Blake was part of my first team at PVI," his former coach, Glenn Farello told FOX 5. "He contributed to our first State Championship team in 2009. The PVI community is heartbroken to hear the news and our prayers go out to his family. Blake was an outstanding young man with a great smile and dynamic personality."
We're told Bozeman also spent his time volunteering in the community, including the Special Olympics.
ANC Commissioner Mike Velasquez calls the shooting 'another act of senseless gun violence in the city'.
"My heart and the hearts of all the commissioners go out to everybody who is affected by this violence. We don’t need guns on our street and we certainly don’t need them inside our establishments, so we have to understand why a gun got inside?" said Velasquez.
DC police are still searching for a suspect.
Cru issued a statement following the tragedy, saying, "We are devastated by the horrendous events that occurred this morning. We work with our security partners daily to ensure we provide a safe environment."
Anyone with information n is asked to call police 202-727-9099 or text a tip to 50411. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT FROM MSU BELOW
"Blake Bozeman, a Bowie, Maryland product, played four years as a starting guard for the Bears from 2011-15 where his father, Todd, was the program’s winningest Division 1 coach in Morgan history. Blake finished his playing career ranked No. 2 on the school’s all-time minutes leaderboard (3717), No. 4 in games played (123) played, and No 3 in 3-pointers made (183). He averaged 7.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists. He scored 20 or more points five times during his senior season, including a season-high 25 points at North Carolina A&T on Feb. 23, 2015.
Bozeman was productive both on the court, in the classroom and took pride in helping out in the community as well. He was selected to the 2015 Allstate NABC Good Works Team for his significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service. He volunteered at Special Olympics events, refereed soccer games for the mentally challenged, and organized a dance for mentally disabled students.
Bozeman earned his B.S. in marketing from Morgan in 2014 and his M.A. in Journalism in 2016, from Morgan.
The Morgan family extends our deepest condolences and prayers to the Bozeman family and friends. Our family was an extension of his and he was a shining example of what it means to be a student-athlete."