Music News

Suspect in Clubhouse Music Venue Shooting Identified by Tempe Police Department

Tempe Police officials have revealed the identity of the suspect in custody from Friday night's gang-related gun battle in the parking lot of the Clubhouse Music Venue.

At a news conference earlier this afternoon, Tempe cops identified Raynon Keswun Jones, a 19-year-old gang member, as the individual who was arrested near the concert venue shortly after the shooting took place.

Jones is currently being held on $1 million bond at Fourth Avenue Jail on 13 counts of aggravated assault and one count of assisting a criminal syndicate in connection to the shooting.

While Jones is scheduled to appear in court on March 12, Tempe Police are still searching for two additional suspects in the case, described as African-Americans in "dark clothing." They also revealed that another person has come forward claiming to have been injured from the shootout, bringing the total wounded in the incident to 15.

Tempe Police Sergeant Jeff Glover also stated at the press conference that officials have recovered a total of two guns in connection with the shooting, including one from a trash receptacle and a nine-milimeter pistol that was in the SUV that Jones was driving when he was stopped.

Police officials also detailed the sequence of events leading up to the shooting, stating that Jones was allegedly in the company of two members of the South Phoenix Vista Bloods when they began harassing other gang members in the crowd of around 300 outside the Clubhouse. Nipsey Hussle, who was scheduled to headline a hip-hop show at the concert hall, is self-admittedly a member of the Rolling Sixty Crips in Los Angeles (although he stated following the shooting that "any fan of my music knows that I strongly oppose gun violence").

Verbal spats escalated to a dangerous situation as Jones allegedly lifted his shirt to reveal his nine-millimeter, which quickly caused other firearms to be pulled and eventually gunfire to fill the air.

Police officials are also moving forward with their investigation of Clubhouse Music Venue in connection with Friday night's events, including determining if they had both adequate security and proper liquor license and event permits.

As of this writing, there's been no confirmation if the investigation will include Force Focus Entertainment, the Valley concert promoter who was putting on the Nipsey Hussle show.

A response to the shooting was posted on Force Focus' Facebook page on Saturday night and is similar in tone (if not similar verbiage) to Hussle's statement on his Tumblr over the weekend.

Referring to current media reports surrounding the issue at hand, "it is very important note that these shootings did Not happen inside the current venue or during the concert performance. We DO NOT PROMOTE VIOLENCE! Of any manner," the statement read, "We are Focused on spreading peace and progress through hard work and Bottom line, this incident is a very tragic reminder for us here in Arizona and others nationwide of the different circumstances that we face within our communities everyday, and our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of this tragic event, and all the other senseless acts of violence occurring every day within in our communities worldwide."

Tempe Police are asking anyone who witnesses the shooting or has information to contact them at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.