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San Jose: Shooting puts popular club’s status in jeopardy

Fountain Alley looking East from S. First Street towards S. Second St. in San Jose on Wednesday, January 19, 2011. (Nhat V. Meyer/ Mercury News) 
SAN JOSE — A popular downtown nightclub’s status is in jeopardy after authorities alleged a promoter hired by the venue shot into a crowded neighboring bar while trying to gun down a rival in May.
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San Jose police confirmed that the department is seeking to revoke the entertainment permit from San Jose Live — the former Studio 8 — at South First and East Santa Clara streets, following the May 28 gunfire that occurred behind the club in Fountain Alley.
Any revocation would be handled administratively — San Jose Police Department issues and maintains all entertainment permits in the city. The corporation that owns San Jose Live, Diamond SJ Enterprise, plans to challenge the decision.
Chief Eddie Garcia asserted that the promoter suspected in the shooting was unlicensed and that his hiring needs to be held to account.
“Whether the individual was indemnified or not, he was brought in for purposes of entertainment, and that has a direct correlation to entertainment and having a permit,” he said. “As a police department and a city, we have come a long way in our downtown. We have to continue that positive trajectory, and we can’t allow it to go in another direction.”
On Thursday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office charged 29-year-old Boulder Creek resident Daniel Embaye with felony counts of attempted murder with personal use of a firearm, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and shooting at an inhabited dwelling.
But it may be some time before Embaye sees a San Jose courtroom. Since June 20, he has been held in jail in Clayton County, Georgia, on suspicion of marijuana tracking and forgery, and will likely be prosecuted there first before he is returned to the Bay Area.
The shooting was reported in the early-morning hours of May 28 when police contend Embaye was outside in Fountain Alley — which runs behind the businesses facing Santa Clara Street and connects South First and Second streets — and spotted another promoter with whom he had a past conflict, authorities say. Embaye allegedly then went to his car, pulled out a handgun, and returned to where his rival was.
Police say Embaye fired several shots at the fleeing victim, one of which went through the front window of the Tangerine Hookah Bar, which faces the alley. No one was hit by the shots.
“We’re lucky we didn’t have someone injured or worse,” Garcia said.
No arrests were made in the immediate wake of the shooting, but a subsequent investigation concluded that Embaye was the suspected shooter. By that point, Embaye was arrested in Georgia, and detectives determined that he was in San Jose the night of the shooting after being hired to run an event at San Jose Live.
Staff writer Ramona Giwargis contributed to this report.

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