A popular club owner in Atlanta was shot and killed in front of his establishment on Saturday morning.
The Fulton County Medical Medical Examier’s Office identified the man as Michael Gidewon, owner of the Republican Lounge, located at 990 Brady Avenue NW.
According to a news release from the Atlanta Police Department, the homicide happened at approximately 6:55 a.m. Police arrived to respond to a report about someone being shot. Officers spotted the 50-year-old unconscious and not breathing with a gunshot wound, pronouncing Gidewon dead at the scene.
According to 11Alive, investigators were informed that an intoxicated person was kicked out of the club and returned with a firearm, leading to the club owner’s death.
Gidewon owned the club with his brother, Alex. Before getting into the clubbing business, the two fled the East African country of Eritrea to avoid violence. They worked as valets to learn how to operate nightclubs. The pair then became the owners of two clubs about a block from each other.
During his time as a club owner in Atlanta, the public club owner befriended well-known celebrities such as Young Jeezy, Usher, T.I., Ludacris, Nelly and Jermaine Dupri.
Dr. Shireda Howard spoke with 11Alive about the kind of person Gidewon was before his death.
“Michael was a very reserved person,” Dr. Howard said. “He wasn’t a rowdy person. He wasn’t a loud person. He was very reserved. A watcher is what I used to call him.”
According to Dr. Howard, Gidewon was also charitable, giving back to the city through actions like Thanksgiving dinner drives. She also said that Gidewon cared about his employees and talked about helping them stay motivated and providing emotional support.
“He really cared about his employees,” Dr. Howard said. “How do I make sure that not only do I hire people, but how do I mentor to them as well? A lot of people don’t do that anymore.”
So far, there haven’t been any arrests, and police have not notified the public of any possible suspects.
Gidewon leaves behind a wife and four children.