AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Police said they do have leads on a possible suspect as they continue to investigate the shooting at the Hogg Penn, a place they consider a pop-up bar in Amarillo.
While it’s okay to have fun, police said sometimes, and in some places, it’s just not worth the risk.
In a meeting on Sunday regarding the Hogg Penn shooting, Amarillo Police Chief Ed Drain addressed pop-up bars and pop-up nightclubs as being a serious community problem.
They're typically places that are leased but could be violating building occupancy rules and lack the necessary permits to be a legally operating business.
“They stay open past 2 a.m. because they don’t have an alcohol license,” said APD Police Chief Ed Drain. “But yet there is drinking going on and, in some cases, even other drugs that are being used in these places, and they can be tough to monitor.”
This is because of their irregular hours of operation and the difficulty of tracking them down.
But some members of the community say these pop-up establishments are nothing new to Amarillo.
“There’s no control, and everything needs control and rules,” said First VP of the Amarillo NAACP David McCoy Lovejoy. “There’s no security, and if there is security, the people who are securing it may not be the ones you want to.”
“That was a Safeway grocery store years ago. And the last time I was in the shopping center, that was where a church group was meeting and right next door they had a wrestling group there, and then there had been some thrift stores there. So I was shocked to hear that anything like that was going on up there,” said Branch Secretary of the Amarillo NAACP and Hamlet neighborhood resident Maxine Brandon.
APD said they don’t have the manpower to police these places, especially on weekends, when they already have a high number of service calls.
While they have been able to shut places down for violating specific rules, they need the community's help in keeping a lookout.
“We need to look around and see what is coming into our neighborhood,” said Brandon. “And we need to question it by contacting those authorities to make sure that those venues or whatever the business is complying with certain rules and regulations.”
“Sometimes, we can find things that we can cite them for, or we may even have to shut them down for, and sometimes they’re doing okay,” said Drain. “But people just need to know though that we have had problems at those, and if they continue to go to those kinds of bars, they may continue to see some problems in the future.”