Suspect charged in nightclub shooting

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Three people suffered gunshot wounds in a shooting at a Virginia Beach nightclub early Monday morning.

MPO Tonya Borman with the Virginia Beach Police Department said officers were dispatched to Club Lavish located at 544 Newtown Road around 1:10 a.m. for a report of a fight. There, they found two people suffering from gunshot wounds.

A third victim had walked to a nearby hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound. All injuries appeared to be non-life threatening, Borman said.

The preliminary investigation showed an altercation occurred inside the club just before the shooting.

WAVY.com has learned this isn’t the first time there’s been violence at the establishment. At one time, the nightclub went by the name Picasso’s, after that it was Bentley’s. Last Spring, gunfire hit three people outside the club, two of them women.

“It’s not the first time a shooting has happened here or stemmed from here. So it’s not a shock to me,” said Leia Wilkins, who works at a child care center just steps away from the nightclub.

While workers at the center aren’t surprised, they are fearful.

“It’s kinda scary because … it’s kinda dark when I open the center,” Wilkins said. “I do think they need more security. I think on the nights the club is going to be operating they need to hire more than door people to keep us safe.”

Several doors down at the Bilu’s Columbian Restaurant workers, like Sergio Montilla, echo that sentiment. And some think the violence will keep business away from the eatery.

“They need more security here, that’s what they need,” Montilla said. “My friend used to work for the Lavish nightclub. She’s a bartender. She said there was a lot of fights and problems over there.”

WAVY.com tried to contact Lavish nightclub’s owner, Connor Enterprises, for a comment, but our calls have not been returned.

Officers arrested suspect Dontay Buford, 30, of Norfolk. He was charged with three counts of felonious assault, three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Buford was convicted on three felony offenses in 2005. He is being held at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center.

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