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Owner of Bowl Inn speaks out after forced closure

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The owner of the Bowl Inn bowling alley in Buffalo's Lovejoy district is speaking out after the city closed his business earlier this month. 

"We're not going to tolerate situations where establishments can't control the actions of their patrons in and around their establishment," Mayor Brown told News 4 shortly after the closure. 

The city closed Bowl Inn after a deadly shooting in the parking lot. 

28-year-old David Lopez of Lackawanna died Saturday June 9; the suspected shooter has not yet been found. 

Williamson said the shooting had nothing to do with his patrons or his staff, who are now out of a job.

"My 30 employees, their families are counting on me to provide," he told News 4 Monday.

News 4 learned city leaders met Monday to discuss the future of the bowling alley; what was decided is unclear.  

Williamson has several security cameras at the Bowl Inn, there he told us, to keep his patrons safe. 

"We have security guards that are certified and trained on staff, on site. We do security lot checks every 15-20 minutes."

There was another shooting in the area in February. 

The victim picked up some food from the Bowl Inn before he was shot. 

Williamson feels his business was blamed for that incident too.

This closing he said, has had a negative impact on more than just him. 

"We had to cancel a 40-kid outing on Thursday for JFK Center. We had a 35-person fundraiser on Friday that had to be canceled. A 50-person one on Saturday that had to be canceled."

He's received several letters of support from the Lovejoy community, asking the city to reconsider it's decision to close Bowl Inn. 

A spokesperson for the City of Buffalo told News 4 the city has received correspondence from Williamson; there will be a meeting between all involved parties soon to determine how best to move forward. 


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