Deep Ellum's Matthew Medlock Is Undeterred by Shooting at His Recording Studio

Matthew Medlock at Legacy Music GroupEXPAND
Matthew Medlock at Legacy Music Group
Jeremy Hallock

Matthew Medlock, owner of Legacy Music Group, was shocked at first, but now he's just exhausted. Just before 6 a.m. Wednesday, one of Medlock's clients, a producer, was shot at his recording studio in Deep Ellum. Medlock has no idea who the shooter was or what his motives were. But he sees the incident as an isolated one and plans to move forward with his business in the neighborhood he loves.

A recording session was running long Wednesday morning. Seven people were in the building, between Medlock and the studio's employees and clients. A man banged on the front door for about 5 minutes. Security cameras later revealed that he was also looking through the glass door and trying to pull it open. Sometimes drunks or panhandlers knock, but this incident was clearly different. “He was coming to rob us,” Medlock says. “That’s the only assumption I can make.” Nothing like this had ever happened. Medlock placed a baseball bat by the door at one point, but he never thought firearms necessary.

Medlock went upstairs, leaving the rest of the group to continue working in the studio and control room, right next to the front door. Eventually two people stepped outside and were confronted by the knocking man, who looked to be in his early 20s. He demanded they open the glass door. When they refused, he stepped back, pulled out a gun and fired into the door. The bullet ricocheted off the door handle — which likely prevented it from hitting someone in the stomach — and hit someone in the shoulder. The shooter walked away.

The victim’s injury is not life threatening, but broken glass also cut his face. Everyone ran to a lounge area in the back. After hearing the shot, Medlock came downstairs and saw blood. Everyone was screaming and he thought it was a dream. Thinking the victim had been shot in the face, Medlock was initially unable to even look at him.

“I don’t know what he was thinking,” Medlock says, about the shooter. “For all he knew there could have been 50 of us in here with guns.” Medlock did not recognize the shooter and neither did his clients. The police have images of the man’s face, as well as several of his tattoos.

In January 2015, a fight outside of the Quixotic World club across the street from Legacy resulted in a fatal shooting. But Medlock is resolute about pushing forward. “I don’t feel unsafe here,” Medlock says. “I never have. I can’t say that I’m not worried about it, but business will continue to roll. I’m more rattled than scared.”

Sitting at 2815 Main St., Legacy is no longer off the beaten path in Deep Ellum; it is surrounded by development. Dallas’ prime entertainment district is now growing in all directions. If you have ever been to Deep Ellum, chances are you have walked right past Legacy or parked near it.

A new coffee shop and bar, Drugstore Cowboy, is just a few doors down. Independent Kitchen & Grill — the latest venture from the team that owns Off the Record and Club Dada the next block over on Elm Street — is right across the street. Legacy is also close to famed barbecue joint Pecan Lodge and the Bomb Factory, one of the shiniest new venues in the country.

The streets and sidewalks in Deep Ellum are now well-lit, thanks to all the recent renovations. Medlock has been in the music industry for a decade and Legacy is an upscale recording studio with two employees and a handful of interns. They participate in the Deep Ellum Wine Walk and Arts Festival. Last summer, Medlock donated several hours of studio time to the Dallas Producer Collaboration Project. The studio is busy whenever you visit. 

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Next door is another recording studio, Ferralog, run by Nathan Adamson along with his teenage son, Nash Griggs. Adamson says that people occasionally knock on his door too, but he certainly hasn’t seen anyone brandish a weapon. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” Adamson says. He was shocked to hear about the incident while touring with his band, Jack Kerowax.

“It’s upsetting that something as senseless as this can look like a bump in the road,” Medlock admits. “But it’s not going to stop us.” 

Medlock says his wounded client has already checked out of the hospital. He is also quick to point out how quickly emergency services responded, estimating that police arrived in under a minute. “They did their jobs,” Medlocks says, flatly. “They protected us and took care of us.”

“We’re still open for business,” Medlock continues. “We love Deep Ellum; it’s about music, culture, art and history. We’re not going anywhere. We love our neighbors. This is an up-and-coming, safe place.”

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