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ALE cites Thelma’s restaurant owner with alcohol offenses

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Thelma Luckey, the owner of Thelma’s Down Home Cooking, is facing alcohol violations stemming from a mass shooting in January at her restaurant, according to the N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement division.

According to citations, dated Jan. 27, there was moonshine on the premises of the restaurant. The citations say there was probable cause to believe that on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 12:30 a.m. Luckey “unlawfully and willfully … possess for sale alcoholic beverages without first obtaining the applicable ABC permit and revenue licenses.”

The citation further says Luckey possessed “spirituous liquor upon the premises where such possession or consumption was not authorized by the ABC law.”

In another citation, ALE Agent J.D. Dean says Luckey, “did possess non-taxed paid alcohol (moonshine) on the premises of Thelma’s restaurant, an alcoholic beverage on which the taxes imposed by the United States/North Carolina had not been paid.”

Luckey, 67, is expected in court on March 4, according to the citations.

Six people were shot during an after-hours party at the restaurant on Jan. 26, one of whom sustained serious injuries. Police Chief Jerry Stokes has said his agency warned Luckey about the party because of an August party held by the same host had gotten out of hand. In that incident, police responded to an issue of a disorderly crowd in the parking lot.

In the January incident, shots were fired inside the building, which led to a barrage of people headed toward a front door and a back door that appeared to be locked.

Stokes said his agency had some concerns, but had no knowledge or information that there was going to be a shooting that night. He said the most recent party was billed as a birthday party, but a flyer for the party indicated otherwise.

The party host hired an off-duty Salisbury Police officer and there were other officers in the area.

County government also terminated its lease with Luckey, saying the restauranteur who opened in 2013 had 30 days to vacate the property. County Attorney Jay Dees said in a letter sent to Luckey and provided to the Post that county government had worked with her in the past about past-due rent, but that the shooting created new breaches of her lease.

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