SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It's been three months since five people were shot while leaving a downtown Sacramento nightclub along L Street, claiming the life of bystander and Inderkum High School staffer Gregory “Najee” Grimes.
His family and friends are remembering him while seeking new mandates for downtown businesses operating after dark, according to the victim’s mother, Deborah Grimes. She launched a site proposing “Najee’s Law,” a framework for downtown safety improvements she says will save lives.
“We want to make sure that those individuals who are coming out are just remaining safe,” said Deborah Grimes.
Her son was leaving the nightclub Mix on L Street on July 4 around 2 a.m. when shots rang out near a parking lot, according to the Sacramento Police Department. Five people were injured, and Najee Grimes later died.
Their only son played college football at Boise State. He later returned to Sacramento to coach football and work with special education students at his alma mater, Inderkum High School. He was also a doting father to a 5-year-old son named Ace.
The proposal would require downtown businesses operating after 6 p.m. to have exterior cameras and lighting at downtown businesses. Bars, nightclubs and pubs relying on alcohol sales as a primary source of revenue would be required to purchase “fail safe” metal detectors rather than wands, which the group says can be implemented unreliably. Under the proposal, businesses would front the cost.
The family created a website where visitors can learn more about the proposal and even sign a petition to support it. More than 500 people have already signed on, Deborah Grimes said.
While not specific, the proposal also seeks accountability measures for businesses connected to violent incidents. Some cities have implemented policies fining or requiring closings in the wake of serious fights or shootings.
The city of Sacramento has taken steps to improve safety in the wake of several high-profile shootings in the entertainment district. They most recently created a new city position known as the 'nighttime economy manager' and increasing the police presence downtown.
“The loss of Najee Grimes, a beloved son, father and mentor to many, was a terrible tragedy,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “I look forward to continuing conversations with Mrs. Grimes and other victims of gun violence, along with our police department, to do everything we can to prevent the senseless loss of more lives.”
ABC 10 reached out to the Downtown Sacramento Partnership and the City Council member who represents the downtown area, Katie Valenzuela, but neither responded immediately to our requests.