Neighboring businesses 'shocked' by Opelika deadly shooting

(Source: WTVM)
(Source: WTVM)

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - A typically quiet area near Staley Avenue was quickly turned upside down over the weekend when police responded to a 911 call saying someone was shot at BJ's Lounge. 

The deadly shooting happened around 1 a.m. according to police.

The Lee County Coroner's office identified the victim as 35-year-old Carnelious Richard. Richard was treated on scene for his injuries but later died at a local hospital.

Longtime Staley Avenue business owner Joe Zaccaro says his business typically operates in a quiet and safe area.

"I've been here 10 years and never had an issue," Zaccaro said. "I was surprised we would have something like that happen but its pretty common in this country for things like that to happen."

What led to the shooting is still under investigation according to Opelika police, however, police say they do know the shooting happened inside the venue which is typically rented out for parties and other social events.

Zaccaro said 10 years ago the area near Staley Avenue was in bad shape, but despite this weekend's deadly shooting,  he believes crime has taken a positive turn.

"That type of crime is pretty minimal here," Zaccaro said. "I don't feel like it's a bad place to live here, I feel it's a wonderful place."

Opelika police said Monday they are working around the clock to find out who killed Carnelious Richard.

If you have any information on the deadly shooting you are asked to call the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665 or contact the Opelika Police Department's Investigative Services Division at (334) 705-5220.

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