by BRIAN NADIG
Alderman James Gardiner (45th) will hold a public safety meeting next week in response to the Feb. 20 shooting of three people attending a social gathering at a seemingly unlicensed event venue at 4272 W. Irving Park Road at Old Irving Park.
The city’s Department of Buildings and the Chicago Police Department have ordered R&R events to remain closed pending further investigation, and the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection stated that there is no active commercial license on the site. A notice posted by the building department says the storefront is “prohibited”.
The incident began around 1:10 a.m. Sunday when a man fired multiple shots following a reported scuffle, Chicago police say.
The people who were shot told responding officers that they did not see the shooter and that there did not appear to be a security camera at the business that filmed the incident, police say .
A 28-year-old man was shot in the left upper chest, a 30-year-old man was shot in the left thigh and right ankle, and a 30-year-old woman was shot in the leg, according to police. Each was in good condition, police said.
Officers found the two injured men lying on a sidewalk outside the venue, while the woman was in a bathroom, police said. Additionally, several vehicles were fleeing the area, police said.
What appeared to be remnants of dried blood could be seen outside the front door on Monday. The private gathering would have been a memorial to someone who had passed away, a source said.
No arrests have been reported in connection with the shooting.
Gardiner said the meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium at Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield Ave. 17th (Albany Park). District Commander Michelene Alexa is expected to attend the meeting, which will also be live. broadcast via the Alderman’s Facebook page.
Gardiner said after hearing about the shooting, he contacted several city agencies and building commissioner Matthew Beaudet came into the business.
“This storefront was operating without any city permits and will be closed immediately. This will not be tolerated in our community,” Gardiner posted on Facebook on Sunday.
On its Facebook page, R&R advertises the event space for baby showers, banquets, photo shoots and parties. Former tenants of the site included the Java Thai restaurant.
Over the past two years there have been several shootings in the commercial districts of Old Irving Park, Six Corners and Jefferson Park, including the December 5 murder of a 19-year-old woman outside an illegal club near Central and Lawrence. The city then closed the club.
Last year, in a parking lot near Lamon Avenue and Dakin Street, an off-duty police officer exchanged gunfire with assailants who allegedly approached his vehicle.
Also in 2021 at Six Corners, casings were found outside of a fire accident near Milwaukee Avenue and Irving Park Road in which police recovered weapons and ammunition from the vehicle, and a man died after being shot several times near Cicero Avenue and Irving Park. Gardiner had a police observation camera installed at the Six Corners intersection.
A conflict between rival gangs sparked some of the shootings in the area, police officials said.
Meanwhile, Gardiner has also scheduled a public safety meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday, March 10 at Branch Community Church, 6125 W. Foster Ave., to discuss recent crime issues in the Jefferson Park area.