YBOR CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa City Council member is calling for Ybor businesses to close their doors early each night following a mass shooting that killed two people and wounded 16 others over the weekend.
City council member Gwendolyn Henderson said she plans to make a motion during Thursday’s council meeting asking businesses in the Ybor Historic District to temporarily close at 1 a.m.
Henderson said businesses would have to close early for six months while the city studies violence in Ybor and identifies potential solutions.
“Senseless acts of gun violence are always difficult. When it’s nearby the reality is horrific, so I have spent the past several days talking with Ybor residents, Ybor business owners, law enforcement, and Mayor Castor about what steps we can take to eliminate an environment that promotes violence during the late hours in Ybor City,” said Henderson, whose district includes Ybor City. “It is true that there is no one-size-fits-all or flawless solution, but I am confident that we will make a difference.”
Henderson said she would also make a motion to keep East 7th Avenue open to traffic even during the closing time on Fridays and Saturdays to limit loitering and find ways to expand community policing and step up code enforcement to crack down on noise violations, loitering, public drinking and other infections.
“These measures are intended to help ensure Ybor City remains a safe and thriving neighborhood no matter what time of day,” Henderson said.
Henderson said she is also asking Hillsborough County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Van Ayres to consider sending out a recorded message to parents of high school students stressing that Ybor nightlife is not a place for teenagers after one of the victims in the shooting was a 14-year-old boy.
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