Three people shot at unlicensed party venue in Old Irving Park; Alderman Gardiner sets Feb. 28 public safety meeting with police to discuss shootings
by BRIAN NADIG
Alderman James Gardiner (45th) will host a public safety meeting next week in response to the Feb. 20 shooting of three people who were attending a social gathering at a reportedly unlicensed events venue at 4272 W. Irving Park Road in Old Irving Park.
The city Department of Buildings and Chicago Police Department have ordered that the R & R Events remain closed pending further investigation, and the city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection said that there is no active business license at the location. A notice posted by the buildings department states that the storefront is “off limits.”
The incident started at about 1:10 a.m. Sunday when a man fired several shots following a reported fight, according to Chicago police.
The individuals who were shot told the responding officers that they did not see the shooter, and there did not appear to be a security camera at the business which would have captured the incident, according to police.
A 28-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the upper left chest, a 30-year-old man had gunshot wounds to his left thigh and right ankle, and a 30-year-old woman was struck in the leg, according to police. Each was in fair condition, police said.
Officers found the two injured men lying on a sidewalk outside the venue, while the woman was inside a bathroom, police said. In addition, several vehicles were fleeing the area, police said.
What appeared to be remnants of dried blood could be seen by the front doorway on Monday. The private gathering reportedly was a memorial to someone who had died, a source said.
No arrests have been reported in connection with the shootings.
Gardiner said that the meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28, in the gymnasium at Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield Ave. 17th (Albany Park) District commander Michelene Alexa is scheduled to attend the meeting, which also will be live streamed via the alderman’s Facebook page.
Gardiner said that upon hearing about the shootings, he contacted several city agencies and that Buildings Commissioner Matthew Beaudet came out to the business.
“This storefront was operating without any city permits and will be shut down immediately. This will not be tolerated in our community,” Gardiner posted Sunday on Facebook.
On its Facebook page, R & R advertises the event space for baby showers, banquets, photo shoots and parties. Previous tenants at the site included the Java Thai restaurant.
In the past two years there have been several shooting incidents in the Old Irving Park, Six Corners and Jefferson Park commercial districts, including the Dec. 5 murder of a 19-year-old woman outside an illegal club near Central and Lawrence avenues. The city later 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 reportedly were approaching his vehicle.
Also in 2021 at Six Corners, shell casings were found outside a fiery crash near Milwaukee Avenue and Irving Park Road in which police recovered guns and ammunition from the vehicle, and a man died after being shot multiple times near Cicero Avenue and Irving Park. Gardiner has had a Police Observation Device camera installed at the Six Corners intersection.
A rival gang conflict has sparked some of the area’s shootings, police officials have said.
Meanwhile, Gardiner also has 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.