published Monday, July 29th, 2013

2 people shot at Luv 2 Dance Studio in Cleveland TN

Two people were injured in a shooting outside the Luv 2 Dance Studio in Cleveland, Tenn., early Sunday morning.
Two people were injured in a shooting outside the Luv 2 Dance Studio in Cleveland, Tenn., early Sunday morning.
Photo by Paul Leach.
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Two people were shot and injured early Sunday outside the Luv 2 Dance Studio, which had been rented for a private party. Police are looking for the shooter.

Cleveland police officers said they responded to the incident after hearing the shots around 2 a.m., according to a WRCB-TV report. The victims, who did not have life-threatening injuries, have not been identified. One woman was wounded when a bullet shattered the window of a car she was in. Two vehicles and one building were hit by gunfire, according to WRCB. Cleveland police confirmed details of the event.

“We’re not going to put up with this,” said Freddy Mora, who owns the dance studio on King Edward Avenue. “We’re going to have to pick and choose who we allow to rent our dance studio.”

Mora said one victim was shot in the arm and the other was shot in the thigh. He said he had asked police officers to keep an eye on the studio and was coming back to the studio to close up when the shooting happened.

The dance studio had been rented to Mon Franklins, of Chattanooga, on the night of the shooting, said Mora.

Franklins’ Facebook page bills him as an “Entertainer, Promoter, Business mogul.” The page has an invitation to a “#Lingerie #Pajama Party” in Cleveland on Saturday night with a special come- on: “Sexy ladies $5 til 11 PM.”

Franklins doesn’t have a listed telephone and could not be reached for comment Sunday. Mora said Franklins has rented the studio for private events previously.

“We rented the studio to a group of young black kids from Chattanooga who had problems renting event halls there,” said Mora. “We gave them a chance.”

Chattanooga has been studying how to regulate event halls, which don’t have to have liquor or beer permits, since a series of shootings and deaths outside halls on East Main Street and Dodds Avenue this year.

Mora said Luv 2 Dance Studio has been renting space for private events such as parties, wedding receptions and family reunions for a year now. While the studio has had some problems with some renters damaging property or getting into fights, Sunday’s shooting went above and beyond that.

The studio’s rental policy states there cannot be fights or police involvement, he said.

“They won’t be getting their deposit back,” Mora said. “We’ve had more good than bad, but it just takes one bad apple.”

The 150-person capacity studio is not a bar, said Mora, but renters can bring their own alcohol.

In the meantime, he said operations are returning to normal.

“We held our regular church service there on Sunday morning,” said Mora.

Contact correspondent Paul Leach at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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