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Police close three unlicensed social clubs which were sites of shootings

Chicago Police have closed three separate unlicensed bars after they were the sites of recent shootings or other problems, the department announced Thursday.

The unlicensed “social clubs” were all ordered to immediately cease operations for up to six months under the Summary Closure Ordinance, “which gives the Police Superintendent the ability to order the closure of establishments that are deemed public safety threats,” according to a statement from police.

Police said the clubs — none of which reported the recent shootings — can reopen once they become licensed and develop a police- and city-approved public safety plan.

On Dec. 27, two people were shot to death while sitting in a vehicle after leaving a party at The Loft, an Englewood neighborhood unlicensed establishment in the 5900 block of South Wentworth. Tyree White, 29; and Ashley Eddings, 28, were outside when someone walked up and opened fire about 2:15 a.m., authorities said.

White, of the 200 block of East 121st Place, was shot in the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene. Eddings, of the 300 block of North Broadway Street in Joliet, was shot in the back and taken to Stroger Hospital, where she was died hours later., according to the medical examiner’s office.

Throughout the last five years, there have five separate reports of violent crimes at The Loft and the bar has two active cease-and-desist orders.

On Jan. 2, a 19-year-old man was shot after he left an unlicensed social club in the 3500 block of West Lake Street in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, police said. He was walking westbound about 4:15 a.m. when he was shot in the leg.

Police said that 11 separate calls to 911 have been made about the club. Six of those calls were “directly related” to the bar, which has four active cease-and-desist orders.

About 4:20 a.m. Jan. 3, a man was shot in the shoulder after he was involved in an argument with someone near an unlicensed club in the 3400 block of West Harrison in the Homan Square neighborhood, police said. The 35-year-old was taken in serious condition to Stroger Hospital.

Four separate reports have been made about the club, and it has three active cease-and-desist orders, police said.

“We are sending a message that there is zero tolerance for businesses that serve as hubs for violence,” interim police superintendent John Escalante said in the statement. “We will continue to crack down on locations throughout the city that pose a public safety threat…”

Chicago Police closed this unlicensed bar in the 3500 block of West Lake after it was the site of recent shooting. | Chicago Police
Chicago Police closed this unlicensed bar in the 3500 block of West Lake after it was the site of recent shooting. | Chicago Police