Brother of slain nightclub co-owner pens letter to suspect, offers $100K reward

Credit: Atlanta Police Department

Credit: Atlanta Police Department

Just hours after police named a suspect in the shooting death of an Atlanta lounge co-owner, his brother penned an emotional letter Wednesday and offered a $100,000 reward leading to the killer’s arrest.

Jonathan David Soto, 39, is wanted by Atlanta police in connection with Saturday’s fatal shooting of Michael Gidewon outside Republic Lounge, a nightclub co-owned by the brothers.

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“ATLANTA, and people all over who have supported me over the years … I need you now more than ever,” Alex Gidewon wrote in a letter posted to Instagram. “I’m giving a $100,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest of my brother’s killer. I need your ultimate love and support.”

“I can’t rewind time, but I need my mother and family to feel justice has been served,” he added.

Alex Gidewon said Soto, who he nicknamed “Sodo” in the letter, had been around him for more than 20 years. He would spend time with him traveling, partying and “celebrating life together,” he wrote. The suspect visited their nightclubs on occasion and their friendship got to the point where Alex let him into his small circle, he added.

He said Soto also knew Michael Gidewon, his wife and his children. He wrote how Michael would always show Soto love.

Officers responded around 7 a.m. to the nightclub along Brady Avenue and found the victim shot. He died at the scene.

Police released several 911 calls Tuesday, including one from a woman who said she stepped out of the lounge and immediately noticed the injured victim. At that point, the woman said the man was still breathing.

At least three of the callers said a suspect was seen walking away from the scene. Two of them gave a detailed description and said the man headed toward Howell Mill Road.

Credit: Lauren Booker

Credit: Lauren Booker

In the letter, Alex questioned how the killer was able to shoot his brother in front of people outside the club and just walk away.

Authorities did not say what charges Soto is facing. He remains at large.

The Gidewon brothers “defined Atlanta nightlife” for decades, according to their friend and radio host Bert Weiss. They owned and operated some of metro Atlanta’s most popular clubs over the years, including Vision and Compound.

Now, Alex said their family is left with unanswered questions as they try to pick up the pieces after the shooting.

“How did this happen? Why did this happen?” he wrote. “My family would never be the same again.”

Anyone with information on Soto’s whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, text CSA to 274637 or visit the Crime Stoppers website.