The owner of the Nativ Hotel in LoDo, which faces a possible foreclosure sale after declaring bankruptcy, is being sued by the victims of a shooting at its basement nightclub last month.
Deonte Hill and Marcus Russell sued Amin Suliaman and two of his companies on June 22 in Denver District Court. They also sued the two men who allegedly shot at them, but they are listed only as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2. One man has been charged with the shooting.
The attack occurred after 1:30 a.m. on May 8. Hill and Russell say they were celebrating Russell’s birthday that night when they got into an argument with the two unknown men. Those unidentified men then pulled out handguns and started shooting, according to the lawsuit.
The shooting was caught on surveillance video that was later released by Denver police and Crime Stoppers offered a $2,000 reward for information that would lead police to the shooters.
Joe Quann Kyree Alexander, 27, was arrested later that month for his alleged role. Court records show he was charged June 7 with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of assault and one count each of attempted assault and illegally discharging a firearm.
According to Alexander’s arrest warrant, two off-duty Denver Police Department officers were standing outside the hotel at the time of the shooting, which was around closing time, after lights had been turned on and the club’s music turned off. The officers heard six to eight gunshots.
One victim, who isn’t named in the arrest warrant, claimed he was leaving the club when a man said something to him. The victim asked the man what he said and that man then shot him.
Another victim, who also isn’t named, was found on the basement floor with a blue rag tied around his leg as a tourniquet. He told police that he works at the Nativ Hotel and was closing the club down for the night when an argument broke out between two groups. As he tried to diffuse the situation, he heard gunshots and felt a bullet hit his leg, according to the warrant.
In their lawsuit, Hill says he was shot in the leg, fracturing his femur, and Russell claims he was shot at but not hit. Russell says he suffered “extreme emotional distress” nonetheless.
Suliaman did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment on the lawsuit.
Hill and Russell say the club wasn’t supposed to be open while the Nativ Hotel went through bankruptcy proceedings. Suliaman told BusinessDen in mid-May that the hotel has been closed since the pandemic began but he allowed a promotion company to host events at the club and that company was in charge the night of the shooting. No promotion companies are being sued.
Instead, the lawsuit claims that Nativ hired inexperienced security guards who either didn’t pat down customers or somehow failed to notice “the two large handguns” used in the shooting.
Hill and Russell say there was also a backdoor entrance to the club that allowed guests to bypass security guards and their pat downs that night. Ultimately, Nativ “had little to no security presence inside the nightclub to break up the altercation or stop the shooting,” they claim.
The plaintiffs are seeking an undisclosed amount of money for medical expenses, economic losses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. They are represented by Denver attorneys Brian Caplan and Bob Nitido with the Legal Help In Colorado personal injury law firm.
Suliaman’s company, KDA Properties, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September. Between June 6-8, an auction for the Nativ was held, which Suliaman hoped would allow him to pay his creditors. But the top bid of $6.5 million was well below the auction’s $7.9 million minimum.
As a result, Pangea Mortgage Capital, which is owed more than $8 million by KDA Properties, was given permission by a federal bankruptcy judge June 13 to move ahead with a foreclosure sale of the property or “any other legal and equitable remedies to collect all amounts due.”
Pangea did not respond to requests for comment about its plans for the Nativ Hotel.