Judge grants permanent injunction of The Scratch Kitchen, business to close its doors

The popular restaurant was the scene of a deadly mass shooting on Cinco de Mayo that left one teen dead and several others injured.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 6:21 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - The Scratch Kitchen has now been closed for good after a judge granted a permanent injunction to close the kitchen on Friday. The popular restaurant was the scene of a deadly mass shooting on Cinco de Mayo that left one teen dead and several others injured.

This follows the city’s issuing of a temporary restraining order against the business on May 12; that same day, a hearing was held with the goal of issuing a permanent injunction.

According to a reporter with WLOX, Ocean Springs Police Captain Ryan Lemaire testified about previous issues at the restaurant and bar. Last week in court, previous incidents and code violations at the establishment were also discussed.

Lemaire said when officers arrived in the aftermath of the shooting, they made sure the scene was safe, then proceeded to help the victims. He says officers were assaulted by people while trying to help.

In court, video showed who police say is the murder suspect, 22-year-old Fa’Darius Davon Williams, entering The Scratch Kitchen. In the video, the suspect is wearing white and is identified by an arrow.

The video also shows crowds of people tripping and major chaos ensuing after shots are fired.

The Scratch Kitchen’s mass capacity for the back patio is 80 people. Video seems to show well over 100 people in the area.

In the ruling, the judge specifically cited the fact that before the incident, Ocean Springs had never witnessed a mass shooting. This served as a major factor in the decision to shut down the restaurant.

Court documents state the following:

Also during the seven hour hearing, city officials outlined countless problems with the restaurant and bar. Surveillance video from the night of the shooting played in court, showing people scrambling to get out when gunfire erupted.

Mayor Kenny Holloway testified that despite many warnings to owner Brittany Alexander, nothing changed, and the Cinco de Mayo party turned into chaos.

Alexander told the court the city gave her conflicting information about occupancy limits and never issued a citation.

Ocean Springs Fire Chief Derek McCoy tells us why that is.

“Judge Harris’ ruling to permanently close The Scratch Kitchen focused on the ongoing battle over crowding at her bar and the danger it posed to the community,” he said.

Murder suspect Fa’Darius Williams was extradited back to Mississippi Tuesday to face charges.

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