A popular Eritrean-American entrepreneur in Atlanta was fatally shot in front of his nightclub on Saturday morning. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, Michael Gidewon was found with a gunshot wound outside the Republic Lounge. The deceased businessman owns the establishment with his brother.
Police said Gidewon, 50, was unresponsive when officers responded to the scene. Medics who also arrived at the scene pronounced him dead. Atlanta Police told 11Alive that an individual who was made to leave the nightclub for being intoxicated allegedly returned with a gun and fatally shot Gidewon.
Records filed with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office reveal Gidewon’s profession as a nightclub entrepreneur spanned over 30 years. The deceased businessman and his younger brother emigrated to the United States from Eritrea to escape the violence, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.
The brothers initially worked as valets before they successfully opened two nightclubs. Gidewon was also a popular figure in Atlanta, and he was occasionally seen hosting celebrities including T.I., Young Jeezy, Usher, Nelly, Jermaine Dupri, Lil Baby, and Ludacris. Gidewon is also remembered for his charitable endeavors.
In an interview with 11Alive, Gidewon’s friend and accountant, Dr. Shireda Howard, said the deceased businessman was “a very reserved person. He wasn’t a rowdy person.” “He wasn’t a loud person. He was very reserved. A watcher, is what I used to call him,” Howard added.
Gidewon leaves behind a wife and four children. “His family meant the world. I know that he loved his wife, his children,” Howard said. “He wanted to make sure that he could provide for them regardless of what was happening.”
Howard added that Gidewon also took interest in the welfare of his employees. “He really cared about his employees,” Howard said. How do I make sure that not only do I hire people, but how do I mentor to them as well? A lot of people don’t do that anymore.”
Atlanta Police is yet to disclose if any suspect has been identified. “I came to Atlanta in ’96, so to see Atlanta in 2023, I don’t recognize this Atlanta. That’s the sad part about it,” Howard said. “I feel like today we lost the part of that old Atlanta.”