Lounge fight ends in murder

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 2, 2003

According to a local nightclub owner, the two men involved in a fatal shooting early Friday morning were in his club just prior to the incident.

Clyde Richardson, owner of Clyde’s Tornado Lounge & Ballroom

at 1212 Alabama Ave., said that Paul Jermaine Mollette of Selma, 21, and Mario Jermaine Simmons of Orrville, 26, had a brief altercation in the club just before the shooting occurred by the Washington Street Supermarket.

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The two men grabbed each other before being pulled apart and ejected from the club, Richardson said. The incident caused little concern among the night club’s patrons, Richardson said.

Shortly after the incident, Richardson recalled, the two men exited the club and stared at each other before Mollette began to walk away toward Washington Street. About fifteen minutes later, Richardson learned that both men had been involved in another altercation by the supermarket.

According to Selma Police Chief Robert Green, officer Tory Neely was traveling down Alabama Avenue around 1:55 a.m. when he saw what turned out to be Simmons firing a handgun while in pursuit of


Neely pursued Simmons and ordered him to drop the gun, Green said. Simmons refused, prompting Neely to fired his weapon, hitting Simmons in the right leg. Simmons continued to pursue Mollette even after being hit, but was disarmed after Neely caught him on the south side of the Washington Street Supermarket.

Mollette received multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and died while being transported to Vaughan Regional Medical Center. Simmons was also treated at the medical center for the gunshot wound to his leg, before being transported to the Dallas County Jail where he is currently awaiting a bond hearing.

According to Green, Neely has been put on administrative leave, standard procedure, Green says, for police officers involved in shooting incidents.

This is not the first time Simmons has been arrested. According to information from the district attorney’s office, he was first arrested in 1997 for a licensing registration violation involving a pistol permit. Two first-degree and one third-degree assault arrests followed in 1999 and 2000.

The investigation is ongoing.