PALMETTO, Fla. - Monday marks a year since the worst mass shooting in Palmetto city history. Two people died and 22 others were injured when gunmen in a car opened fire at Club Elite.
Detectives are no closer to solving the crime.
But while no suspects are in custody there is a sense of relief in the community.
That's because while the case may still be open, the club is closed, replaced by a sandwich shop.
Those around it couldn't be happier.
Joel Carranza is one of those people. He enjoys stopping by his favorite ice cream shop. He didn't feel as comfortable a year ago.
"It's been 100 times better," said Carranza. "It's so much better without them here."
Carranza is talking about Club Elite. The doors to the establishment never reopened after police suspect at least two gunman of opening fire in the early morning hours of on September 10, 2011.
Now, a sandwich shops occupies the property and helps the residents of Palmetto forget the horror of a year ago.
"That was horrible for the community and the people here as well," said Carranza.
Police said the shooters used some type of assault rifles. The bullets penetrated steel doors and even concrete.
Two people died, 22 were hurt, and the suspects also damaged some of the other buildings in the plaza.
Police are convinced someone in the community knows something or recognized the car in the drive-by shooting.
"I think the police are doing the best they can but the community is not stepping up. People are scared to come forward. They think they someone will come back and get them for telling on," said Carranza.
Detectives agree fear is the reason why no one has come forward, After the shooting, a cousin of one of the victims, Trayon Goff said she prayed for someone to say something.
"When young black people are killed, not all people step up and try to do something to make a difference in the community," said Kenyatta Johnson.
Detectives refuse to give up. A reward is now up to $21,000. Carranza's not sure if there will ever be enough incentive but is enjoying the new look of the plaza.
"Women and men would come out drunk, and this is a family restaurant. There would be kids here and they would have to see this kind of stuff. We are very happy they shut down," said Carranza.
Police believe the shooting at Club Elite may have been in retaliation for another shooting just days before. Police said the club was not forced to shut down, the owners just decided to do so.
Police say in addition to the criminal investigation there may be some civil lawsuits.
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