Some Davenport City Council members are at odds over renewing a gas station’s liquor license following a deadly shooting.
The liquor license for GD Xpress, a gas station and convenience store on Pine Street in Davenport, is up for renewal and happened to be on the city council’s agenda for Wednesday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
The gas station is the site of a deadly shooting that happened Monday night, just two nights before the meeting.
Davenport police say 23-year-old Demetrius Howard shot and killed 25-year-old Corey Martin at the gas station Monday night following a fight the two had inside the convenience store.
Now, some city council members want to table the vote on the store’s liquor license until police finish their investigation.
But other council members oppose the delay, saying the shooting has no real connection to the gas station.
Judith Lee, alderwoman for Ward 8 in Davenport, is one of the council members leading the tabling discussion.
“I think it’s my responsibility to make sure that we get all the information we need from the Davenport Police Department before we take a vote on the request for a liquor license,” Lee told Local 4 News Wednesday.
GD Xpress is located inside Ward 8, for which Lee is the alderwoman.
Lee also happens to live inside Ward 8 herself, relatively close to the gas station.
Back in 2019, when GD Xpress wanted to expand, Lee was among a group of neighbors who didn’t want that to happen.
She went to the city council with documents, showing 92 incidents at GD Xpress were reported to police from January 2016 to May 2019.
Those details have her proceeding with caution on the liquor license renewal.
“It’s disturbing to have that kind of activity happening so close,” Lee said. “And it is, you can see, it’s all residential … except for those two establishments (one being GD Xpress).”
But Robby Ortiz, alderman for Ward 4 in Davenport, does not want to table the discussion, saying Monday’s shooting had nothing to do with GD Xpress.
“That business owner shouldn’t lose his license because of an unfortunate beef between two other people that had nothing to do with the business,” Ortiz told Local 4 News Wednesday.
Ortiz owns Hawkeye Sports Bar & Grill, which is right next door to GD Xpress.
Furthermore, Ortiz used to manage GD Xpress himself.
Ortiz wants council members to consider the impact a liquor license can have on a business before they table the renewal discussion, pointing out that the shooting could have happened on his business’s property just as easily.
“If it happened 250 feet north, what? Would we be talking about my license?” said Ortiz.
Davenport City Council’s Committee of the Whole was 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Results of the meeting and tabling discussion will be provided on Fox 18 News at 9 p.m. and Local 4 News at 10 p.m.
Updates will also be provided when available on OurQuadCities.com.