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SHOOTING AT DOWNTOWN CLUB

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY -- Told to leave by security at Club Eclipse after an altercation, a man was stabbed and shot several times while in a parking lot behind the club at about 3 a.m. Sunday, stated an Albany Police Department report.

Another man, Gino Julio Lopez, 18, was beaten and suffered head wounds in the same parking-lot fight, said Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman.

Alejandro Bustamante, 22, was found lying on the ground when officers arrived behind the club at 212 W. Broad Ave., Banks said. The fight may have been gang related, she added.

Bustamante was in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in good condition a hospital spokeswoman said. Lopez' condition was not immediately known.

Police arrested Christian A. Vargas, 20, Jose Gonzalez, 19, Adan Ariel, 19, and Evelio Gomez, 17, in connection with the fight, the report stated. They are charged with aggravated assault, street gang activity and possession of a firearm, a handgun, during the commission of a crime.

The four are at Dougherty County Jail, but by 7 p.m. Sunday, had not yet been booked in through paperwork. There is a possibility their fingerprints will come back showing them as illegals, a jail spokeswoman said.

That this happened downtown should not affect anyone's decisions to come to the city's emerging revitalized area, said Christopher Pike, Albany city commissioner.

"Every city of this size has crime. I don't think this is an indication of the sort of downtown Albany is becoming," Pike said. "Families are not downtown at 3 a.m. I am proud of the way law enforcement handled this situation."

Pike has invested in downtown by opening Nana's Ice Cream inside the newly opened D'Town General Store, which sits on North Washington Street next to the newly opened Verve clothing shop.

Soon to open Downtown Fresh Market which, in addition to offering fresh produce, will offer quick-to-go fresh soups, sandwiches and salads. Those are the kind of businesses that will attract shoppers and families downtown, Pike said.

He also said that the arrest of 17-year-old Gomez adds to the need to strengthen the city's curfew ordinance.

"We've been looking at how to strengthen the ordinance," Pike said. "There is no reason for underage people to be out at 3 a.m."