Club Rio To Close Permanently, Owner Says

Club Rio To Close Permanently, Owner Says

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The owner of the Watertown nightclub where five people were injured in a weekend shooting says he's closing the business permanently.

Owner David Garlock says he will close Club Rio permanently and turn in the liquor license.

"It's a horrible thing. I mean, thank God nobody got killed. That's all I can say," he said.

Garlock has owned Club Rio since 2015 and says he never imagined an act of violence like this would happen at his business.

Police responded to the nightclub on Franklin Street Saturday at around 1:20 a.m. after shots were fired near the fence outside.

Thirty-one year old Julio Landron-Sanchez was charged after the early Saturday morning incident with five counts of second-degree assault and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

The injured, between the ages of 19 and 23, were sent to hospitals and later released. Four of them were soldiers and officials at Fort Drum announced Saturday that the club was temporarily off limits to all personnel.

Police say the shooting was near a wood stockade fence outside the Franklin Street club. 

Detective Lieutenant Joe Donoghue of the Watertown Police Department says Landron-Sanchez was arrested quickly on Goodale Street, which is around the corner from the club.

Donoghue says the handgun he believes was used at the shooting was found in a yard near the arrest.

"It was an actual working weapon. Part of the investigation is to determine where the gun would have come from," he said.

Bruce Morgia co-owns STAT Communications, directly across the street from Rio. Morgia says the nightclub has never been an issue for his office, but he knows incidents have happened there in the past.

"The street at nighttime is a whole different animal. A lot of people are afraid to walk down Franklin, all the ends of these streets before you get to the square, because it's a different clientele now," he said.

As for Garlock, he says now that he's closing the business, he'll eventually sell the building.

"This is just, for me, out of the ordinary. I never would think anything like this would happen right in our backyard," he said.

Landron-Sanchez is being at the county jail on $50,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning for a preliminary hearing. 

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