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LEXINGTON EVENT EVOKES SAFETY CONCERNS

Lexington County residents – including several black pastors – are attempting to block a party scheduled for this weekend at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel on the outskirts of Columbia, S.C.

Their argument? That the event is unsafe and that its organizers have a history of promoting events that draw the “gang element.”

It’s not an idle claim, either.

During a college basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C. last month, this same group hosted a party where two people were shot.

That shooting occurred inside the ballroom of the Charlotte Sheraton during the wee hours of March 2. Michelle Hardy, 33, of Virginia Beach, Virginia was shot in the leg. Thirty-five-year-old Miguel Antonio King of Las Vegas, Nevada was also shot in the leg.

“Please contact the local Sheriff and tell him we do not want this type of violence in our community,” one black leader told FITS on condition of anonymity.

Lexington County has jurisdiction over the Doubletree Hotel. Calls to the Lexington Sheriff’s Office were not immediately returned.

Located a short drive from downtown Columbia near the intersection of Interstates 20 and 26, the Doubletree has 23,000 feet of meeting space and can accommodate up to 1,000 party guests.