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Players Club Killing One of Eight Slayings, Attacks at Colorado Strip Clubs

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Update: Yet another high-profile killing has taken place outside a Denver-area strip club, the latest involving a man reportedly shot to death by a security guard at an Adams County venue.

The location: Players Club, at 6710 Federal Boulevard. CBS4 quotes law-enforcement sources as saying that just after 4:30 a.m. yesterday, January 8, three men who'd been kicked out of the venue earlier in the evening came back to the club several hours later and fired shots at the guard. He returned fire, striking and killing a thus-far-unidentified man. The station adds that previous shootings had taken place at the business in September 2015 and last June.

While slayings and attacks at strip clubs hardly take place on a nightly basis, they're not exactly rare, either.

Last August, following a fatal shooting outside PT's All Nude — also known as PT's Centerfold Show Club, located at 3480 Galena Street — we noted that such venues have been the setting for similar violent crimes numerous times in recent years.

Indeed, the week before the shooting at PT's All Nude, we reported about the resolution of the murder case against Stephen Futrell, which was also linked to a strip club.

Futrell pleaded guilty to killing a man who investigators say had grabbed his shoulders in what he considered to be a too-familiar way inside PT's II, an affiliate of the Centerfold Show Club, located at 8315 East Colfax Avenue.

The murder took place in the establishment's parking lot.

Below, learn more about seven additional murders or other crimes connected with Colorado strip clubs in recent years, featuring excerpts from our original coverage. 

Benjamin Lucero suspect in Dandy Dan's strip club homicide of George Valenzuela-Lopez
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2011, AT 3:03 P.M.

At about 11:45 p.m on February 8 at Dandy Dan's, a South Federal strip club, a pair of men got into an altercation in the parking lot — and only one of them left alive.

The victim has been identified by the Denver coroner's office as George Valenzuela-Lopez, 34.

"The cause of death is complications of multiple gunshot wounds," the medical examiner release states. "The manner of death is homicide." 

The Denver Police Department has identified a suspect in the shootout as Benjamin Lucero, 22.

Photos: Platinum 84 Strip Club Early Morning Shooting Hurts Two, One Possibly Critical
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2014, AT 6:30 A.M.

Two people were injured, with one possibly in critical condition, at Platinum 84, a Federal Heights strip club, toward the end of an evening touted on the venue's Facebook page with the promise that the action would be "smoking hot."

By 1:45 a.m., according to 7News, only about ten customers remained at the club.

And that's when all hell broke loose.

Law enforcers from several agencies, including the Thornton and Westminster police departments, responded to the scene.

Investigators believe a number of customers (they weren't employees) got into an altercation that erupted into gunfire.

Two men were hit by flying lead — one in the hip, the other in the chest. The former is expected to survive, and it's hoped that the latter will as well, although he was possibly in critical condition at last word.

Platinum 84 Strip Club Back in Spotlight: Cop Hurt After Attack on Night of 2 Live Crew Show
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2014, AT 5:53 A.M.

Just last month, Platinum 84, a Federal Heights strip club, made headlines due to a high-profile shooting that injured two people. Now, the venue's back in the news for another crime: an attack that caused a police officer to be hospitalized. 

The most recent offense took place on Saturday, September 27, when 2 Live Crew, the vintage hip-hop crew best remembered for the lascivious tune "Me So Horny," was scheduled to perform for the second of two nights at the club.

A Platinum 84 post on Saturday noted that the final show was almost sold out — but Lieutenant Gary Toldness, spokesman for the Federal Heights Police Department, says the matter that led to the officer's injury doesn't appear to have been related to the performance. Instead, the problems centered around what he refers to as a "bachelor party bus.

"There was some kind of incident inside the bar," Toldness continues. "Maybe someone touched a dancer and was asked to leave — but he wouldn't leave. So the cops were called."

Upon officers' arrival, the alleged troublemakers "weren't really fighting. They were just being obnoxious," Toldness allows. "But as the officers were trying to investigate the incident, directing people to stay and not to go, the guy involved in the incident got on the bus — and when they tried to get him off the bus, that's when the incident happened."

Specifically, a man struck a police officer in the face, injuring him severely enough that he had to be hospitalized.

Continue to learn more about additional Colorado strip-club-related crimes, including the murder that took place early yesterday morning.

Clinton Clarke Allegedly Stabbed Man Who Got Into Wrong Truck at Strip Club
THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 2015, AT 8:46 A.M.

We've all done it — gone up to a vehicle in a parking lot that looked like ours only to discover it was actually someone else's.

In general, though, we don't get stabbed for making this mistake.

That's apparently what happened to a customer of a strip club in Grand Junction — an incident that led to the arrest of Parker resident Clinton Clarke.

The location of the incident was Fantasy Gentlemen's Club, which we wrote about in August 2013 owing to a lawsuit filed by exotic dancers at the venue. Among other things, the complaint cited an alleged payment structure that included exorbitant fines for a whole range of actions — such as ponying up $50 plus increased stage fees if a customer touched a dancer's vagina.

At about 1:40 a.m., according to the Grand Junction Police Department, a club employee called 911 after a man came into the venue with what were described as stab wounds to his stomach and chest.

The working theory early on: The man had been in the club, went outside, got stabbed and returned.

During the investigation that followed, investigators stopped a pickup truck that matched the description of one seen leaving the parking lot around the time of the stabbing. The pair of occupants included Clarke, but both were subsequently released.

Clarke wouldn't remain free for long.

The officer who'd quizzed Clarke and his compatriot subsequently eyeballed surveillance video showing that their truck had indeed been the one that had split from the club around the time of the stabbing, the GJPD maintains.

Shortly thereafter, the truck was located again as Clarke and his pal were walking away from it. Clarke then told the officer that he had a knife under his jacket, and the cops say it was smeared with residue "consistent with blood."

As for what happened, investigators believe the victim mistakenly got into the backseat of Clarke's truck and was there when the men emerged from the club.

A witness told police he saw Clarke holding a knife — and the victim was holding his stomach when he got out of the truck.

For his part, Clarke "told officers he did find the victim sitting in the backseat of the truck but denied stabbing him," the GJPD allows.

Update: PT's Strip Club's "Barricade Situation" Over, No Gunmen Found
TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2015, AT 9:59 A.M.

Update: The barricade situation at PT's Showclub, at 1601 West Evans Avenue, is over, and it's ended in strange fashion.

As we previously reported, armed suspects broke into the establishment at around 6:15 a.m., when the only folks inside were members of the cleaning crew, all of whom escaped unharmed.

Afterward, police, including SWAT units, arrived in force, blocking off the street and surrounding the club.

Then, around 9:30 a.m., they entered the premises. It was deserted, suggesting that the men had managed to escape some time earlier.

PT's Dancer TeJae Se'Rae Cannon Stabbed by Another Stripper Who's Still at Large
MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2015, AT 5:50 A.M.

PT's Showclub, at 1601 West Evans Avenue, is a historic venue — the former home of the Family Dog, a rock-and-roll venue that played host to late '60s-early '70s legends such as the Doors and the Grateful Dead before being transformed into one of the city's longest-lasting exotic-dancing joints.

But earlier this year, the business was the site of a SWAT team raid.

And now, police are looking for a stripper who stabbed fellow dancer TeJae Se'Rae Cannon outside the club.

Early Thursday, August 27, exotic dancer Cannon was stabbed multiple times, suffering wounds to the right side of her neck, her left hand and both forearms.

Cannon's mother says her daughter was stabbed by a fellow dancer at the club.

Update: The Resolution of Stephen Futrell's Strip Club Murder Case
THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 2016, AT 6:27 A.M.

In 2015, Stephen Futrell was arrested on suspicion of murdering a man outside PT's II, a local strip club.

The incident took place just after midnight on September 13 — and police quickly determined that surveillance video had caught images of victim Jeremy Garcia and his suspected killer, Futrell, both inside and outside the club.

Later that morning, investigators quizzed a source whose identity is protected in the police report. That person said Futrell had been coming into the bar for about two months, usually on Fridays and Saturdays — and he introduced himself as Magic. For his part, Garcia had been a regular for a month or so.

On the evening in question, Futrell apparently felt Garcia got a little too familiar with him.

The victim came up behind Magic, grabbed Magic by the shoulders and shook Magic. This upset Magic and Magic told the victim, "You don't know me like that!" The victim told Magic, "We can settle this right now!" Magic told the victim "Settle what?" [Deleted] told Magic and the victim to stop arguing and directed each of them to opposite sides of the bar.

Futrell went outside a short time later, presumably to smoke a cigarette. After that, Garcia headed outside, too — and within minutes, a woman ran into the club to announce that someone had been shot.

How did the cops find Futrell? Turns out he'd given his phone number to the unnamed source a couple of weeks earlier. Turns out one of his aliases was "Mr. Magic."

This month, Futrell accepted a deal in the case, albeit one that carries a heavy sentence.

According to the Denver District Attorney's Office, Futrell pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for the dropping of two other charges: first-degree murder and a weapons beef.

His sentence: 35 years in prison.

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