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'Jason saved my life': Klymax Lounge owner shares new details on deadly Kansas City shooting
Image source: Mario Williams

'Jason saved my life': Klymax Lounge owner shares new details on deadly Kansas City shooting

Mario Williams credits his quick-thinking security guard for saving lives during a shooting at a Kansas City bar Sunday morning that left three dead and two others injured.

"I am able to talk to you today because Jason McConnell saved my life," 41-year-old Mario Williams, owner of Klymax Lounge, told TheBlaze in an exclusive interview Monday evening.

"If Jason wouldn’t have protected us on the inside from these guys coming in, they would’ve come inside and shot everybody up inside the club."

McConnell, the club's security guard, also 41, lost his life in the deadly encounter. Antoinette Brenson, 24, and Clarence Henderson, 33 were also killed, as KSHB reported.

"Suspicious people walked up around 1:00 a.m. They tried to get in with guns," Williams told TheBlaze.

Williams says the club's security policy does not allow people with guns inside the venue. Denied entry, the suspicious people with guns were "supposed to go back to their cars, but just kind of lingered around the front."

With the club still "full of people," Williams says he called police at 1:05 a.m. to alert them to the problem. He says that the person on the other end of the line told him they couldn't make a promise about timing since it was a non-emergency, but that they would do their best to send someone.

Williams' security guard kept everyone inside and directed Williams to call the police again. During the second call to police at 1:06 a.m., Williams said he was told to "be patient."

"As soon as I hung up with the police the second time, that's when shots rang out."

"I called the police for the police to come, but there was too much going on around the city so they weren’t able to respond until these people got shot," Williams said.

Williams told TheBlaze he is a former gang banger who turned his life around. He says he runs Klymax Lounge now to "give young guys a voice."

"Kansas City is broken right now because of this situation," Williams said, adding that what happened at Klymax Lounge "could happen anywhere."

"We've got to do something about people with bad mental health having guns. And we've just gotta do something better as a community, as a country, as a world."

He said that things might have gone differently if someone in the shooter's life had intervened ahead of time.

Williams says the lounge will be closed for the month of May to allow people time to grieve. He says he plans to raise the minimum age for entry, adding that he is deeply concerned that much of the gun violence he has seen is among people around age 18. Plans for an off-duty officer to help with security are underway, and Williams says he is working with local city councilmen on measures to ramp up safety.

"A lot of people are showing me love. At the same time, that doesn't bring anyone back," Williams said of community response to the deadly shooting at Klymax Lounge.

"I watched three people take their last breath. I don’t think that will ever really be erased from my head and my heart for a long time."

Mario explained he had not yet spoken with other outlets, as he was tending to his own mental health, taking things step by step as he deals with the trauma. Though he did not know if the police have any leads on the perpetrators, he says the event was caught on the club's cameras.

TheBlaze reached out to the Kansas City Police Department for comment on the status of the case and the timeline of calls between Williams and the department. KCPD's captain, Corey Carlisle, said the investigation was active and "there are no other details that can be released other than what was sent out already."

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