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Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Bar, where three were shot, logs 11 complaints in past two years

Seattle Times staff reporter

In the past two years, the state Liquor Control Board has logged 11 complaints against Mr. Lucky Lounge & Grill, the Lower Queen Anne nightclub where three men were shot early Saturday.

Of those 11 complaints, five came to the attention of liquor-control officers because police reports were filed as a result of incidents inside the club or on club property, said Susan Blaker, the acting regional manager for the Liquor Control Board Enforcement Division in Seattle. The other complaints came from citizens, she said.

The complaints included liquor off the premises, underage drinkers in the bar, and over-capacity crowds.

Before Saturday's shooting, the club was issued a violation notice for disorderly conduct after a security guard was shot in the thigh in November, Blaker said. The following month, Mr. Lucky owner Kyriakos Kyrkos paid a $350 fine in lieu of a five-day suspension of his liquor license.

"They've had incidents; that goes without saying," Blaker said. But, she added, Kyrkos has been cooperative, and liquor-control officers have seen improvements in the way he conducts business. He has provided additional training for his staff, improved lighting in the club's parking lot and worked with Seattle Fire Department officials to resolve overcrowding issues, Blaker said.

Kyrkos couldn't be reached for comment. J.C. Ditzler, the attorney representing Kyrkos in a wrongful-death suit filed against the club last year, declined to comment Monday about Saturday's shootings or any other incident at Mr. Lucky.

Routine check

Enforcement officers from Blaker's office made an unannounced visit to Mr. Lucky around 8 p.m. Friday and "no violations were observed," she said.

Seattle police also visited the club around 1 a.m. Saturday as part of a routine check, said police spokesman Sean Whitcomb.

At closing time, just after 1:30 a.m. Saturday, two young men armed with handguns opened fire in a crowded hallway inside the club, according to police. A bouncer was shot in the chest and two bar patrons, one of whom is 20 years old, were shot in the leg and hip. The gunmen ran from the club, firing their weapons into the air. Neither has been caught.

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One of the victims, who is in his 20s, is in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said. A second victim refused to allow the hospital to release any information about him, and no information was available on the third man.

Saturday's shooting is being investigated by gang-unit detectives, who were among the first to respond to the club at 315 First Ave. N. and who have experience processing shooting scenes, said Assistant Police Chief Nick Metz.

"We're still investigating, but I think they have some leads," he said. Metz said gang-unit detectives and West Precinct patrol officers "have been watching Mr. Lucky" for some time because of suspected gang activity in and around the club.

"There have been a number of problems at Mr. Lucky's in the last year or two. We've had two prior shootings, assaults, noise disturbances and fights," he said.

Though it'll be up to the Liquor Control Board to decide what to do about Kyrkos' liquor license, Metz said, his detectives are now reviewing "a lot of information from the last couple years, particularly the last few months" to help the department make a recommendation to the city and Liquor Control Board. Metz met with city officials Monday morning to discuss the Mr. Lucky situation.

"We're getting our facts together and determining what our next steps will be," he said.

Hit by stray bullet

In December 2003, Mahmoud Sourakli, who wasn't a Mr. Lucky patron, was shot in the neck by a stray bullet during a gunfight outside the club between rival gangs battling over drug-dealing turf, said Sourakli's attorney, Becky Roe. Now paraplegic, Sourakli is suing Mr. Lucky and others for unspecified damages. Roe said the owners of Mr. Lucky have denied any responsibility.

Exactly two years ago, Phoun Meunsaveng was bashed over the head with a 4-foot-long metal pipe in a parking lot outside Mr. Lucky. The 24-year-old Bellevue man later died. His family has since filed a wrongful-death suit against the club, its promoter, its security company and the owner of a nearby parking lot, said Meunsaveng's lawyer, Karen Koehler.

A man was arrested in connection with Meunsaveng's death, but King County prosecutors never filed charges because "we could not overcome a self-defense issue," said police spokeswoman Debra Brown.

She couldn't say whether gang detectives were able to identify a suspect in Sourakli's shooting.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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