Activists seek to have 'A Lounge' shut down, following deadly weekend shooting

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Activists seek to have 'A Lounge' shut down: Sarah Bloomquist reports on Action News at 5 p.m., November 13, 2017 (WPVI)

Family and friends of murder victims assembled outside the a nightclub in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia Monday morning.

They were grieving over the most recent homicide at the "A Lounge social club" in the 4200 block of Macalaster over the weekend. Thirty-seven-year-old Pablo Rivera was shot and killed outside the after-hours club early Sunday morning.

"He was a good person. I just want everyone to know that," said Mayra Rivera, the victim's sister. "He was a loving person, and didn't deserve this at all."

A 24-year-old innocent bystander was also wounded. A club security guard shot the suspect in the leg and he was immediately apprehended by police.

The murder was the third outside the club since January 2015 when 34-year-old Alejandro Rojas-Garcia was shot and killed.

"We're tired of having people join us as the family of murder victims," said Wilfreydo Rojas, Rojas-Garcia's father.

Now, these families and other community activists are calling on city leaders to shut down the "A Lounge" for good.

"If you know that this area is so volatile, then why are you not looking for more practical, not theoretical, but practical actions to stop - stop the homicide rate, lower the homicide rate and have appropriate response to it as well," said Aleida Garcia, Rojas-Garcia's mother.

Some anti-violence activist pledged to not abandon the issue.

"Whenever they're open, we're going to be in front of this door letting people know that you're getting ready to die in this place," said activist Rosalind Pichardo.

On Instagram, the club posted the following: "Another life lost in our city to senseless violence. It's not about 'A Lounge' or any other places. These things happen and it's out of our hands."

By phone, a man representing the club told Action News that he can't be responsible for the actions of others. He's hired security, installed cameras, and cooperates with police.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections is collaborating with Philadelphia police, liquor control and other governing bodies to determine what should happen here next.

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