Owner of Midtown club where 3 deputies were shot charged over alcohol license

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The owner of the Midtown nightclub where three deputies were shot over the weekend has been charged.

Nathan Gerk, who is the owner of Club Set on Travis Street, is being charged with falsifying statements on an alcohol license.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said Club Set applied for a restaurant permit in September that would require the business to make 51% of its profits from food sales.

Nearly 650 establishments in Harris County, and more than 3,000 statewide, have applied for the license to be able to remain open while bars and clubs are ordered to stay closed.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office along with TABC said an investigation was launched into Club Set when three Harris County deputies were shot and a woman was killed in the parking lot on Sunday, Jan. 3.

LISTEN: Deputies call out for help during shooting
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All three deputies were working off-duty jobs when they responded to a fight in progress at the Travis Street nightclub. That's when someone began shooting, killing one woman and i

"They have the beverage and food license, meaning they can be open now," said Sean Teare with the district attorney's office. "From what we've gathered so far, they don't have the appropriate kitchen. They don't have the appropriate meals to have that license."

The Houston Police Department said a fight broke out in the parking lot of the club and three off-duty uniformed deputies working an extra job were approached by a man with a gun and were later shot. One deputy returned fire and all three survived.

Joseph Anthony Gonzalez, 25, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault against a public servant and felon in possession of a firearm.

The suspect's mother, Lorri Gonzalez, was shot multiple times, according to the medical examiner's office, and died at the hospital. The investigation into whose gunfire struck her is ongoing. No charges have been filed in her death.

READ MORE: Suspect's mother identified as Midtown shooting victim

In 2018, HPD said Gerk was shot while working as the manager of a club at 4105 Washington Ave. Investigators said he tried to intervene between the suspect and another person who were arguing and was hit by gunfire following a private party.

Gerk was also named in a lawsuit filed by the Harris County attorney in 2017 against Life Lounge or Life Club that was ordered by a judge to close permanently.

Court records show HPD conducted undercover investigations at the establishment and found alcohol was being sold without a TABC license. The petition filed against the nightclub reads "the unlawful activity endangers the community."

Since receiving a grant to go after "crime driver" establishments in early December, Teare said they have indicted nine bar or nightclub owners for various violations and shut down three establishments.

Jose Pena, owner of Volcan, was also indicted this week for providing false statements on an alcohol license. Details surrounding his charge have not been released. There is currently a warrant for his arrest but he's expected to turn himself in.

Meanwhile, Gerk appeared in court Thursday night and Friday morning.

His bond was set at $1,000.

The video above is from a previous report.

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