Officials said 52-year-old Andre Clark, a retired Drug Enforcement Agency agent, opened fire inside the Blue Martini bar along the 2400 block of East Sunrise Boulevard, May 9.
Relatives said the victim, identified as 44-year-old Arnold Person, and several others were at the nightclub celebrating the life of a family friend who had recently died.
Video: Gunman In Deadly Blue Martini Shooting Identified
“We had an amazing time, the whole night, up until that little incident, the whole night, no trouble, no nothing,” said his sister, Natasha Cooks.
But investigators said, just before midnight, violence erupted inside the bar. As a band played, an altercation escalated and shots were fired.
“I’m gonna miss my brother,” said Cooks. “He was a good man, a good brother. I’m speechless now. He works hard in our church. My mother is the pastor. He works very hard to make the ministry function like a ministry should.”
“I’m a pastor, so trouble is not strange to me, but when it hits your house it’s different,” she said.
The family was there celebrating the life of another relatives who recently died. Person’s mom says he was a big guy, but not aggressive.
“This is somebody who’s trained, knows how to de-escalate an issue if there was an issue,” he said.
Person was a large man. His family said he was intimidating, but they said he was the type to avoid a fight.
“He’s really a big teddy bear. You would be intimated by him because he is big,” said his mother. “He was a linebacker who played football, but he is a mush.”
None of the family members could figure out how a night meant to be a celebration of life escalated to “some sort of incident.” They also want to know why a former law enforcement officer would bring a gun to a nightclub.
“He deserved to die old, around his kids and family, not murdered face first on the Blue Martini floor,” said his brother. “For him to be in there with a gun and shooting to kill off what altercation is crazy.”
“You’re not supposed to have a firearm inside of a bar,” Fort Lauderdale Police Maj. Frank Sousa said.
Clark’s attorney, Jeffrey Neiman, released a statement Thursday afternoon that read, “The early accounts of what happened that night are not accurate. No arrests were made on the scene and for good reason. When the dust settles, it will be clear that Andre was not the aggressor and that he acted in self-defense.”
Another victim hurt in the shooting refused to speak with 7News because they were still recovering from an illness and gunshot wound.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A man has died at the hospital after her was shot at a Fort Lauderdale intersection while on a motorcycle.
Fort Lauderdale Police were called to the scene along the 6200 block of Northwest Ninth Avenue near Powerline Road, just after 9 p.m., Thursday.
According to police, a man was pronounced dead at the hospital after he suffered at least one gunshot wound.
7News cameras captured the downed motorcycle at the intersection of Cypress Creek Road and Powerline Road.
After she heard that, the witness said she heard four gunshots, and the man on the motorcycle was down on the ground.
If you have any information on this shooting, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.