Nashville's LGBT community woke to news of a shooting outside two of its most popular nightspots. According to police, officers in the area were attending to an unrelated vehicle crash when they were approached by a witness who informed them of a shooting on McMillan Street, a street in midtown that ends directly across from Tribe and Play Dance Bar.
The incident occurred around 2 a.m. Saturday morning.
Nashville resident Brian Sullivan was outside Tribe at the time.
"I was on the patio of Tribe with a friend," he told me, "and was sitting with him while he waited for his ride to show up. We heard a loud gunshot so I got down. He is in a wheelchair so I moved him to a portion of the brick wall on the patio that wasn't exposed. I heard the Tribe and Play security saying into their communication devices 'shot fired repeat shot fired' and they rushed to where the shooting came from."
Police have confirmed the shooting victim—who was found bleeding from his head—was sitting in the back of a Chevy Camaro with his boyfriend when they were approached by the shooter, who spoke with the two for 10-15 minutes before the shooting.
"It appears to have happened on McMillan behind Jack Morris Auto Glass," said Sullivan.
O&AN has identified the victim but, until we can confirm his identity, the most we can say now is that he is not a Nashville resident.
"Several people who were walking on the sidewalks and across the street started running in different directions," said Sullivan. "Tribe staff advised everyone on the patio to go inside and we all did."
Once known as Nashville's gayborhood due to the smattering of LGBT-owned and -focused establishments that were virtually the only retail/consumer-facing operations, the area has grown these past few years, most notoriously with the relocation of Deja Vu strip club just a block away from Tribe and Play. Members of our community have remarked upon the changes to the street in the late night hours recently, that the addition of the strip club specifically has made the area feel seedy.
David Taylor is a co-owner of Tribe and Play. By mid-morning Saturday, it remained unclear to the proprietors much of the detail surrounding the situation.
"We are still trying to fully understand what happened last night down the street from our clubs," he told me. "From what we know now, this appears to be a random act of violence. Needless to say, we are heartbroken that this happened and our prayers are with the victim and his family."
As of Saturday morning, the vicitim is listed in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Photo: via Brian Sullivan on Twitter