Okaloosa deputies are investigating a shooting at the Red Rose. It's not the first time.
OKALOOSA ISLAND — A shooting outside the Red Rose Gentlemen’s Club in September was the seventh gun-related incident at the nightclub in the past five years, according to data from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators are still searching for the suspect who is believed to have fired shots at two people in the parking lot about 40 minutes after the club closed at 4 a.m. Sept. 10. A patron told investigators he and a woman had walked outside to smoke when they were approached by the suspect.
The suspect, described as a Black man in his mid-20s, allegedly pulled out a handgun during an argument and shot the woman in the leg. She was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
Crime at Okaloosa Island nightspots
Since 2016, the OCSO has responded to 152 calls for service at the Red Rose at 106 Santa Rosa Blvd. Capt. David Allen, who oversees the criminal investigations division, said there have been 27 calls for service so far this year.
In 2016, deputies were called to the club 23 times, and in 2020 there were 27 calls for service. Based on that data, Allen said “it’s reasonable to say that we will see an increase from previous years.”
Calls for service have mostly involved incidents such as trespassing, fights and arguments in the parking lot, which Allen said is common for nightspots where people drink alcohol.
Since 2016, there have been 17 reported batteries and six assaults, according to OCSO records.
“Most of it’s associated with what’s typically happening at other alcohol establishments,” Allen said.
The Red Rose is the only adult entertainment club on the west side of U.S. Highway 98 along Santa Rosa Boulevard. Two other clubs are across the highway on Okaloosa Island.
Shootings outside the Red Rose
Although the crime levels are not anything unusual for nightspots in Okaloosa County, Allen said statistics show that there have been more “shooting-related calls” at the Red Rose than others on the island.
Deputies have responded to about five calls in the past five years in which people reported that shots had been fired, and two armed disturbances. However, not all victims have pursued charges and Allen said some reports of shots fired have been unfounded.
According to OCSO records, there have been three shootings at the nightclub since 2016 in which charges have been filed. A fourth case in March 2016 involving an off-duty Escambia County Sheriff’s deputy was deemed a justifiable homicide.
The incident was described as self-defense after the deputy fired two shots at a group of men who surrounded and struck him outside of the Red Rose about 4:45 a.m. One of the bullets struck 32-year-old Dustin Jones in the chest. He later died from his injuries.
Military personnel were banned from entering the Red Rose in June 2016 after another shooting occurred outside the club that May. Three people were shot after an argument that began inside spilled into the parking lot about 4 a.m.
One man was critically injured and required intensive care. However, none of the injuries was fatal. A possible suspect was later identified in 2018. Nkosi Albertie Chamberlain, 26, was charged with three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and is still awaiting trial, according to Okaloosa County court records.
Previous reports:Three injured at Red Rose shooting Sunday morning
In February 2017, deputies were again called to the Red Rose after a victim said a man had pointed a gun at him and fired several shots while leaving the parking lot about 4:15 a.m. No one was injured.
Scott Olen Funderburg, 29, was convicted of the crime in 2018 and is serving a five-year sentence, according to Okaloosa County court records.
The Red Rose was removed from the list of locations considered off limits to military personnel a month later after the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board determined that the concerns had been corrected by management.
Read more:Red Rose reopens to military
Security measures and investigations
Cashen Moore, daughter of Red Rose owner Cash Moore, said security always has been a priority for Red Rose. Metal detectors were installed inside about four years ago. The nightclub also has a team of security guards, and has improved camera systems in the past few years.
“As far as security goes, I feel like we have the best security in this area," Moore said. "Sometimes things happen in the parking lot after you’re closed and that’s kind of out of our control, but there’s tons of security at Red Rose. We added the metal detectors, and I feel like most people that go there feel very safe in the club during operating hours.”
All shooting-related incidents in the past five years have occurred outside the club in the parking lot after the club closes at 4 a.m.
Moore said it is largely out of the club's control when such incidents happen, but that the staff has always worked closely with investigators to help catch those responsible.
“The staff at the Red Rose is always cooperative and willing to assist us in our investigations,” Allen said.
The staff now is working with the OCSO to identify a suspect in the recent Sept. 10 shooting.
“You can’t control stuff that happens way after we close,” Moore said. “I don’t feel like there’s anything else anyone could have done to prevent that from happening, and they’re doing everything they can to catch the person who’s actually at fault.”
Allen said further shooting-related incidents could be prevented by an increased presence of deputies in the area. Some other nightspots have seen improvements when deputies work off-duty details.
“Sometimes that ends up being the solution by having the mere presence of deputies on site,” he said.
Anyone with information on the Sept. 10 shooting is asked to contact the OCSO at 850-651-7400 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 850.863.TIPS, emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.com, or through the P3 Tips Mobile application.