The Big Bloody: Nightclub Owner Shot, Returns Fire; Latest Incident at Spruill's

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The owner of Spruill's Lounge was leaving his business around 3:45 a.m. today with a bag full of cash when police say he was confronted by two armed men.


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A struggle soon ensued outside the club at 1101 N. Jefferson when the men attempted to take the money -- which police say was destined for a bank deposit. During the melee the businessman was shot in the elbow and returned fired.

The suspects -- described as two black males -- then jumped into an older-model gray minivan driven by a third suspect and escaped. The police briefing makes no mention of the suspects getting away with the money.

Police have identified the proprietor of the lounge only as a 49-year-old black male. Business records suggest that he is Craig Spruill.

Spruill's Lounge has been the scene of violence on other occasions.

In September of 2006 an off-duty St. Louis cop working security at the club shot a 22-year-old suspect who reportedly shot another club patron outside the lounge.

A few weeks later -- in October 2006 -- two off-duty cops working security at the club walked outside to witness four men firing shots into a victim at point-blank range in what the Post-Dispatch referred to as an "execution style shooting."

The off-duty cops fired at the men, wounding all four. The victim the suspects were shooting was taken to the hospital with wounds to the face, abdomen and chest.

That second shooting prompted an investigation by the Missouri's Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control whose then supervisor referred to Spruill's as "a disorderly house."

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