Vigil held for Atlanta nightlife legend, family posts $100k reward for info on suspect

ATLANTA — Atlanta police released a flyer of the man wanted in the fatal shooting of a local nightclub owner in northwest Atlanta.

Police said Jonathan Soto, 39, is a person they want to talk to about the killing of Michael Gidewon, co-owner of the Republic Lounge.

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Investigators said someone shot and killed Gidewon Saturday morning as he was leaving the club.

Employees of the lounge told Channel 2′s Courtney Francisco that Gidewon kicked Soto out of the club for being too drunk. They say he waited outside for Gidewon to leave, and that’s when he shot and killed him.

Gidewon’s brother, Alex Gidewon, announced on Instagram that he is offering a $100,000 reward to the person who turns Soto into police.

He wrote to the accused killer in the post: “I trusted you. Anybody that knows me knows I keep a small circle, but I let you in. I trusted you with my family.”

At a vigil Wednesday night, close friends asked Soto to turn himself in.

“Just do what’s right at the end of the day,” Tommy Davis said.

Industry colleagues say Gidewon was Atlanta nightlife royalty.

“People deserve to know all the good things he did for the city,” Michael Hernandez said. “He’s always going to be a legend in Atlanta.”


“What the Gidewon family has meant to nightlife is incomparable to the nation,” Korey Felder said.

They hope Gidewon’s widow and four children see the crowd that came out to the vigil out of love for their family member.

“We lost a great person,” Davis said. “Somebody who would have given the shirt off his back who didn’t deserve what happened to him.”

Atlanta police clarified that the Crime Stoppers reward amount is still at $2,000 for information on the investigation.

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