Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Orlando Police have arrested one man in connection to the shooting at Glitz Ultra Lounge
this weekend that killed two people, Chief John Mina says.
Jose Jaime Brull-Lopez, 23, was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and tampering with physical evidence and was taken to the Orange County Jail, where he later posted a $5,150 bond and left. Ten people were shot in the club early Sunday morning, and two men on opposite sides of the altercation, Joseph Lugo Villalobos, 22, and Jonathan Avila Rojas, 33, died from gunshot wounds.
According to his arrest affidavit
, Brull-Lopez was allegedly seen running out of the building with a gun in his hand after a fight broke out between "two different groups of Hispanic men," who began shooting inside the crowded club. A security guard working at the club heard shots and ran outside the club to warn officers Jerome Kenon, Landon Thomas and Manuel Genao, three off-duty cops who worked for the club. The report says the officers and the bouncers usually stayed outside the club until requested.
The security guard and two OPD officers ran to the back of the club where they allege they found Brull-Lopez with a gun in his hand standing next Villalobos, who was on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. When Brull-Lopez saw officers he threw his gun into the air toward the roof of an attached shed, the affidavit says.
Police say when they searched Brull-Lopez, they found a loaded Glock handgun magazine in his pants pocket. In an interview, Brull-Lopez told investigators different stories, until police say he finally told them that he had been inside the club with a gun in his hand.
"[Brull-Lopez] stated he was not patted down or checked with a metal detector wand upon entry like some other patrons were," the affidavit says. "He state he concealed the 9 mm handgun with an extended 30 magazine clip inside his pants in his groin area so it would not be detected by security...(He) pulled the firearm out when he was near the men's room on the north side of the club because he knew of a beef between some of the men who were there and he was scared."
Brull-Lopez denied shooting the gun, and said Villalobos was his friend. Villalobos "ran to him for help outside after being shot," and Brull-Lopez says he hugged him and helped him down to the ground before he was taken away in an ambulance, according to the affidavit. Orlando Police say rival gang members continued making threats to each other on social media after the shooting.
"Due to the horrific nature of this event and the amount of people victimized, and the complete reckless disregard for human life displayed by everyone with a gun inside Glitz Ultra Lounge, the Orlando Police Department is requesting [Brull-Lopez] be held without bond as he is a danger to the community," the affidavit says.
At Friday's press conference, Mina says Glitz Ultra Lounge is currently closed, and the owner doesn't have plans to reopen, but if the owner did, he would have to talk to OPD first about the club's security procedures. Mina did not elaborate on the investigation and whether it was related to drug trafficking. Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia
reported local police say Avila Rojas, one of the men killed, was in charge of a drug point on the island, but more recently he was coming and going from Orlando. He was also under investigation for several deaths.
The Orlando Sentinel
reported earlier this week that several victims of the shooting have threatened to sue the club over alleged improper security procedures.