UPDATE: Autopsy results released in Bella Vita nightclub shootin - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Autopsy results released in Bella Vita nightclub shooting

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Autopsy results show the man killed outside a downtown Chattanooga bar was shot once in the chest.

 According to a preliminary autopsy report, released by the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office, shows Johnnie Sanders died as a result of that gunshot wound to the left part of his chest.


PREVIOUS STORY: A Chattanooga restaurant and nightclub will be closed this weekend after a security guard was shot and killed outside.

The club's owner said she plans to make changes in light of Johnny Sanders' death, and she's doing all she can to support the family of the retired marine, who was filling in for a friend the night he was killed.

The owner of Bella Vita said they'll be paying for Sander's funeral expenses after he was shot and killed outside the club Saturday night.  

The retired marine was working his first shift as security for Bella Vita. A fight broke out inside the club, that eventually led to Sander's death.

"I wish I could take it back, I wish I could take this family's pain from them and carry it on me, because no one deserves this," said owner Tammie Taylor.

On the sidewalk where 40-year-old Johnny Sanders was shot and killed, there are now flowers and cards from the staff at Bella Vita.
    
Taylor says Sanders was killed trying to protect the public from a violent customer.

"The guy was completely out of control, after we put him out he refused to leave. He was very aggressive and would not let it go," Taylor said.

Taylor stands by her security team's actions that night, saying they followed procedure by escorting Andrew Wilson, 31, out of the club.

"And when they're running across the street with a gun, the only thing we can do is call 911 and try to help," she said.    

This is the third homicide at or outside a Chattanooga bar in the past month and it's the second shooting outside Bella Vita this year.

"The clientel has changed. I don't understand why everybody can't get along," Taylor said.

Taylor wants her restaurant and club to be a safe place to visit. that's why she says they'll be going through some changes in the near future.

"A lot of things are going to change after this and it's going to be better, it's going to be better for the community," she said.

Taylor said there will be a new name, new music, and hopefully fewer problems.
    
Taylor said she will always remember the sacrifice made by Johnny Sanders.

"He is in our heart, he's definitely not going to ever be forgotten," Taylor said.

The Chattanooga Police Regulatory Bureau reviews all businesses involved in a major act of violence.
    
Bella Vita will be reviewed to see if there were any violations that took place.
    
Because of Sander's death, Bella Vita will be closed this weekend both Friday and Saturday.
    
The business is also raising money for Sanders' children through a Go Fund Me page.

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UPDATE:  A spokesperson from Bella Vita Restaurant/Ultra Lounge sent the following statement in regards to Sunday morning's fatal shooting of a security guard at the club:

"The Ultra Lounge would like to express that we take extreme precautions to protect our customers and Johnny was doing his job removing an unruly customer from the Ultra Lounge. That customer evidently went to his car, got a gun and shot Johnny who was still outside. We are devastated by this tragic loss of a great man."

Tammie Taylor, the club's owner, said they'll be paying for Johnny Sanders' funeral expenses and will set up a GoFundMe page to help support the children he leaves behind.

Taylor said Sanders was working his first security shift as an independent contractor for the club Saturday night and was filling in for someone else.

Chattanooga Police were called to 1400 Carter Street at 2:12 a.m. Sunday on the report of a person shot. There they found Sanders with a gunshot wound to his upper left chest. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police say Sanders was breaking up a fight when the suspect, Andrew Wilson Jr., walked up and shot him. Wilson told police he shot Sanders in self-defense but detectives said witness statements and surveillance did not support that claim. Wilson was arrested on warrants for criminal homicide and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Sanders would've celebrated his 41st birthday on Wednesday, May 11.

"Security job, he was doing his job and you get killed for kicking somebody out of the club? I just don't get it," said his neighbor Cassandra Tucker.

Bella Vita was closed Sunday and Monday, per its usual hours.

The Chattanooga Police Department's Regulatory Bureau reviews all businesses after "a major act of violence" and will review Bella Vita to see if there were any violations or enforceable actions to take, according to a police spokesperson.

Taylor said the club has 12 security personnel who work at night and do pat-downs to make sure guests aren't packing heat.


PREVIOUS STORY: We are learning more about the man accused of killing security guard Johnny Sanders. In 2013 Andrew Wilson Jr. was arrested and charged with killing a 28 year old Red Bank man.

This isn't the first time 31 year old Andrew Wilson Jr. has been in trouble with the law.  Sunday evening he remains in the Hamilton County Jail with a list of multiple court dates for criminal charges.

Posted on Andrew Wilson Jr's public Facebook page is this post from early Saturday morning. Encouraging friends to stop by the night club Bella Vita. But this warning was posted about the security. "Security and police in full effect. So leave your gang banging and set tripping at your house," said the Facebook post.


Wilson is charged with criminal homicide, and unlawful possession of a firearm after police say he shot Bella Vita security guard Johnny Sanders outside the nightclub Sunday morning. Sanders died from a single gunshot wound.

Wilson has a history of violence. In April 2013 he was charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of Desmond McClure. Police say the 28 year old was found lying on the sidewalk on East Main Street. He was shot several times in the chest. According to court records, two months after that shooting Wilson posted bond and was released from the Hamilton County Jail. He is still waiting to appear in front of a judge for McClure’s death. That date is scheduled for June.

Wilson is also waiting court dates for other criminal charges, including criminal drug charges, driving on a revoked license, and tampering with evidence.

Sunday night he sits in the Hamilton County Jail as the investigation into the city's 13th homicide continues.
 


PREVIOUS STORY: A security guard working at Bella Vita Restaurant has died Sunday morning from a single gunshot wound. Chattanooga Police have a suspect in custody. 

Chattanooga Police responded to a person shot call in the 1400 block of Cowart Street around 2:10 a.m. Sunday. 

A man, Johnny L. Sanders, 40, was found suffering from a single gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. 

Officials say an initial 911 call was a report of a fight inside the Bella Vita Restaurant.

A man involved in the fight was removed from the restaurant by club security, and once outside, Sanders was shot.

Andrew Wilson Jr., was immediately detained following the shooting by private security personnel who were working at the club. 

Officials say warrants were obtained for Wilson Jr. and has been booked into the Hamilton County Jail. Andrew Wilson Jr. has been charged with Criminal Homicide, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

This is the second shooting that has occurred outside Bella Vita in 2016.

If you have any information on this crime, you are asked to call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525.

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