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Why police raided, padlocked two Nashville establishment

Z-Mart Raid-FOX 17 News

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Metro Nashville Police say ownership and management of two establishments allowed the facilitation or overtly allowed the commission of violent crime.

Police raided and padlocked the Z-Mart and Staff Zone located on Lafayette Street Wednesday - declaring them public nuisances. Police say Husni Hassan, who owns both properties, has been banned from the buildings until a hearing is held. Also banned are Z-Mart managers Sameer Shohatee, Mohamed Abuhamra, and Staff Zone manager Sonja Antrikin.

“The activities that are being allowed to take place at these two businesses, which are very close to Napier/Sudekum public housing, pose real safety concerns for young and old alike, and are holding this community back,” Chief Steve Anderson said. “It is clear that despite the disproportionate police responses to 24 and 20 Lafayette Street in recent years, the persons responsible for these properties have not taken steps to turn things around.”

Police say over a seven year period, police responded to more than 3,000 calls for service at the Z-Mart, more than twice the next closest business in a one-mile period. Such calls included robberies, aggravated assaults, open air-drug dealing, drug use, and shootings.

Here is a full breakdown:

  • Disorderly Person 857
  • Suspicious Person 705
  • Request Officer for Investigation or Assistance 578
  • Theft 142
  • Fight or Assault 124
  • Robbery 93
  • Criminal Vice Activity 85
  • Person with Weapon 77
  • Intoxicated Person 50
  • Traffic Crash 46
  • Domestic Disturbance 40
  • Suicidal Person 28
  • Shots Fired 28
  • Mentally Ill Subject 4
  • Shooting 4
  • Stabbing 3

An investigation using confidential informants (C.I.) also found the establishment was purchasing products which were stolen or gained by illegal means then selling them back to the public. Police say Kroger's Organized Retail Crime unit assisted with the investigation by providing products to police.

The products were then presented to the Z-Mart personnel as being stolen by a confidential informant which were purchased by the store personnel. In one instance, police say a C.I. asked an employee what he needed and the employee asked for a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus cell phone in exchange for $150. Other instances include the owner of the store asking a C.I. if he could get 1000's of cartons of cigarettes he would buy.

Police say the investigation was launched following a community meeting focused on revitalizing the Napier/Sudekum community in March of this year. Residents provided details of the two establishments and stated they were an eyesore for the community.

Over a seven-year period, Metro Police responded to Staff Zone more than 1,100 times for the following:

  • Suspicious Person 454
  • Business Check 227
  • Request Officer for Investigation or Assistance 164
  • Traffic Stop 104
  • Disorderly Person 94
  • Criminal Vice Activity 24
  • Community Contact 21
  • Fight or Assault 21
  • Theft 12
  • Robbery 11
  • Domestic Disturbance 9
  • Traffic Crash 9
  • Intoxicated Person 6
  • Suicidal Person 4
  • Person with Weapon 3
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