Kilimanjaro Club owner says he's not responsible for murders, illegal activity

The operator of a North Nashville club shut that was down by the city said he's not responsible for the murders and illegal activity that took place inside.

The owner of Kilimanjaro Club and Banquet Hall said he rented out the space and the tenants took it from there. Business Owner Danyo Lazoro said he tried to improve a blighted area of town.

"We actually clean that place and all that, We cleaned it ourselves and took the initiative to clean it up brought the place to a situation where people can come over there but before that it was uninhabitable,” Lazoro said.

Metro Police said Kilimanjaro Sports Bar and Banquet hosted gang meetings, strip shows and served alcohol without a license. Last Friday, officers used the city’s public Nuisance law to raid and padlock the business.

"If we're here to work crime scene such as murders robberies shots fired and shootings it's really a drain on our resources,” said North Precinct Commander Terrence Graves.

Between 2012 and 2016, police responded to more than a hundred calls including three murders. The owner of Kilimanjaro said he's not responsible.

It was a rental hall,” Lazoro said. "Every week we rent it to people, different people so whatever goes in there we have no knowledge of it. So unfortunately these [things] happened but it has nothing to do with us."

Lazoro said his tenant, Cliford Hardin, who didn't show up in court for a hearing Wednesday is responsible for the illegal activity.

Metro Councilmen DeCosta Hastings said business owners like Lazoro should be held accountable.

“That's a loophole that does need to be closed,” Hastings said. "My office will start to research to see and make sure that there are laws on the book, if not we need to create a bill that somebody is going to be held liable."

The future of the club is uncertain.

‘”We're working something out, supposed to be buying the building,” Hastings said. "Right now I don't know what the status is but we're not going to be doing anything of that nature because it's hurting the city."

On Wednesday, not all parties involved in the business had been served with the temporary injunction so a hearing on the matter has been continued until next month.

In the meantime, the doors will remain closed.

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