River North bar shuttered days after deadly mass shooting over the weekend
CHICAGO - A nightclub in River North was shuttered by the city on Tuesday after a fight outside escalated into a shootout over the weekend, leaving a man dead and three other people wounded.
An order issued by Chicago Police Supt. David Brown closed down Hush Chicago at 311 W. Chicago Ave., deeming it a "public safety threat" following the mass shooting early Sunday. The summary closure order, posted at the entrance, named both the club and its owner, Martini Bros Inc.
The quick action comes after the Chicago Sun-Times reported in September that most of the businesses closed by the city over violence concerns have been in low-income neighborhoods on the South and West sides.
Despite surging violence downtown in recent years, only one business in the area had apparently been shut down under the summary closure ordinance, enacted in 2015. That was a club called Sound Bar at 226 W. Ontario St., where a security guard was killed and the owner was hurt in a shooting in an alley in 2019.
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Officials have gone easy on clout-heavy bars and businesses, including those owned Carmen Rossi, who runs a string of restaurants and clubs, holds the liquor license for Lollapalooza and is a political contributor to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Two of his bars — Joy District and Liqrbox — weren’t closed after shootings outside them last year. Martini Bros Inc. is run by Rossi’s colleague, Vincent Lujan.
Lujan is a silent partner in The Dime, one of the bars operated by 8 Hospitality, which is owned by Rossi, according to reports from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission earlier this year.
Lujan couldn’t be reached, and messages to the club and members of the staff went unanswered.
No arrests in gunfight
Sunday’s shooting happened around 2:10 a.m. when security personnel kicked out a group of people who then started fighting outside, police said. At least two people opened fire, and a security guard shot back.
Arsen Solaqa, 30, was struck in the chest and pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
The guard, also 30, was hit in the shoulder, police said. A man and a woman, both 24, were each struck in the leg. They were all treated at Northwestern and were reported in good condition.
MORE: Man picks up gun dropped by wounded security guard after River North shooting: prosecutors
Two weapons were recovered at the scene, and 19-year-old Jimmy Silva was arrested nearby after allegedly grabbing a gun that was dropped by the wounded guard, police said. Silva was hit with a felony gun charge and ordered held in jail Monday on $20,000 bail.
No arrests have been announced in the gunfight. The shooting doesn’t appear to be gang-related, a law enforcement source told the Sun-Times.
The Near North police district where the shooting happened has seen a steep rise in crime so far this year, police data shows. Through Sunday, 13 murders and 44 shootings had been reported, compared to eight murders and 42 shootings at the same point last year.
Early May 30, another shooting in an alley in the same block as Hush injured two more people, police data shows. No one has been arrested.