SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Club-goers in Springfield are on-edge as police investigate two acts of violence near two different nightclubs this weekend.
In one incident, a Springfield police officer took a bullet to the shoulder.
We spoke with Yolanda Cancel, the acting manager of Club Aquarius. She told us that no one inside the club witnessed any kind of argument Saturday night. She said it wasn't until one of their contracted guards saw an altercation happening in the Dunkin parking lot and sent a Springfield police officer working detail duty to go investigate.
"And so we have officer stationed here, here, back to here," Cancel explained.
Cancel told Western Mass News that they employ 12 private guards to keep an eye on who comes in
"We search the waistband, we have two guards, and we don't move it fast at all," Cancel added.
They also monitor who goes out with twelve guards, in addition to the two Springfield police officers who work security detail each weekend.
"They are like family," Cancel noted.
That is why Cancel said it was a tough call when one of the private guards at the club's door looked out across the street Saturday night and saw someone in trouble, off of the Aquarius property.
"Alerted the one of the officers first and then the other officer and they went outside," Cancel said.
Officer Edwin Irizarry was shot twice in the arm allegedly by Kenneth Hernandez, who cancel said isn't a club regular and is now banned from returning.
However, Cancel said that doesn't lessen the pain felt by the guards and bar employees.
"She just sent her family, her friend, this officer, outside to almost his death," Cancel noted.
Although the incident reportedly happened across the street in the Dunkin parking lot, city councilor Orlando Ramos, chair of council's public safety committee, said that a review of Club Aquarius is license is still necessary
"If there's anything that goes wrong during an incident, then the license commission and the entertainment license will be reviewed to see if there was any breakdown in that security plan," Ramos noted.
It's a standard practice, but it's a standard that Cancel feels unfairly places places responsibility on the bar, whose property lines remained free of gunfire on Saturday.
"If the individuals left here and they were across the street, all we could say was nothing happened here. We shouldn't be penalized for using our detail officers to basically save someone's life," Cancel said.
This story was updated to properly attribute a quote.