LUBBOCK, Texas – Three people were injured after getting shot at a game room on 92nd street and Avenue P, and one shot at an Allsups in Slaton.
The criminal activity being one of the exact reasons County Commissioners have been pushing for regulations and limitations around game rooms.
“We need a regulatory office. I think we need someone with a clipboard who’s going to do their inspections, making sure that they have the proper number of games, making sure that the games are actually legal legitimate games,” said Jason Corley, Lubbock County Commissioner for Precinct 2.
Commissioners, calling to action a proposal to address the increased crime that Game Rooms have brought into the county.
“These are operations that come up, they pop up in the middle of the night, they attract Illegal gambling, they attract some drug, alcohol abuse. We have also seen in some areas some human trafficking, so they are problematic for the county and we need to get a handle on that,” said Curtis Parish, Lubbock County Judge.
County Commissioners are looking to limit operating hours and to get game rooms out of residential areas, putting them at least one thousand feet away from schools and playgrounds and one thousand feet away from homes.
But Sheriff’s Deputy Kelly Rowe believes these ordinances will instead legitimize illegal businesses.
“When it’s all said and done, the crime level being a misdemeanor level just outweighs the fact that we have much more serious things happening in here that we have to have our very limited resources, law enforcement resources dealing with other than other than this challenge,” said Rowe.
While commissioners work to come up with a solution, EverythingLubbock spoke with one woman who owns a home by a game room, and said shortly after it opened for business, her once quiet home is now terrifying to live in.
She said game room customers have broken into her house, her car and even set fire to her property.
“What else needs to happen? It’s dangerous. It’s not safe for our kids. We’ve had our farms since 1913 and we’re selling the whole farm and praying for a buyer to leave because it’s just not safe.”
Originally the conversation was tabled and pushed to September while Commissioners focused on the budget for officers and resources to handle the issues with game rooms. Jason Corley released a statement after the shooting saying:
The events of today’s shooting at a local game room are and unfortunate reminder of the need for regulation and oversite by law enforcement in the gaming industry in Lubbock County. It is a sad irony that this tragic event happened little more than four hours after the Lubbock County Commissioner’s court tabled a motion to enact an ordinance to regulate game rooms in Lubbock County. The motion was tabled until September at the request of representatives of the Sheriff’s and District Attorneys’ offices. The events of today necessitate the need for action sooner rather than later. I will be adding this agenda item back to the Lubbock County Commissioners Court agenda for the March 21 regularly scheduled meeting at 10:00. For those who are able please be present before 10:00 if you wish to speak during public comment. For all those not able to be present the Commissioners Court is Live Streamed on the Lubbock County Website for you to view remotely. Our prayers are with those who were injured.Sincerely, Jason Corley Lubbock County Commissioner PCT 2