By Christie Post - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Lubbock teen remains behind bars on murder charges on a $500,000 bond. Renee Valencia, 19, sits in Lubbock County Jail for shooting Zachary Matta just days after his 22nd birthday.
Witnesses tell police there was a fight inside the nightclub early Sunday morning. Investigators say Valencia left the bar, grabbed a gun, then broke the windshield on Matta's car. That is when police say Matta went outside and Valencia shot him several times.
Police say they chased Renee and Luis Valencia by car and on foot, fired shots, and then finally caught them near 32nd and Avenue N.
Court records show this isn't the first incident Renee Valencia has had a run in with the law. An arrest warrant released this week also shows Police arrested Valencia last month, after witnesses reported that he beat-up his girlfriend outside club heaven, which is next to the Daiquiri Lounge. The affidavit states that witnesses saw Valencia punch and kick the girl in the head. Police arrested him for assault, but they discovered cocaine in his pocket and a warrant has been issued for drug possession.
In the meantime Valencia sits in jail and TABC shut down Daiquiri Lounge for seven days, but they say that could change, depending on the police investigation. They say the club's past history has brought public safety issues into light.
Police said they've received 55 service calls from Daiquiri Lounge from January of this year to October excluding March through May when the club was closed. TABC said they've also had many problems before.
"If people are in danger if they go to this place, or if they're in danger from actions that have happened there and then echo out in the community. Then we're going to be taking some steps," said Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Sergeant, Michael Lockhart.
Sergeant Michael Lockhart with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said several incidents with the nightclub date back to 2007. The filed complaints range from selling to intoxicated people to possession of drugs by the licensee to minor possession and consumption.
" Even though this history there's a little bit of time separating it, it's so much of a pattern that it's already stood out enough be a place of manner of operation issue. And that's a concern," said Lockhart.
In September of last year TABC said they closed the club for a few weeks because they said it became detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare.
"We went into detail on the permit holder on that and tried to help them fix their problems. They had an option of paying a fine or taking a suspension, they chose to take a suspension," said Lockhart.
Right now TABC and Lubbock Police continue to investigate how the altercation between Renee Valencia and Zachary Matta escalated inside the club that led to the shooting.
"Did they do or not do something that could have prevented this. Once they knew there was a problem did they attempt to stop it. Those are the kind of questions we're asking," said Lockhart.
TABC said if they find any violation the night of the murder they plan on taking action by fining, suspending or even canceling Daiquiri Lounge's liquor license.
There will be a candlelight vigil for Zachary Matta Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Zachary's mother said she encourages anyone who knew her son to come and remember his life.
Matta's family has set up a fund to pay for funeral expenses. You can donate to any First Convenience Bank branch located in any Wal Mart.
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