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Venue that hosted party leading to Chicago mass shooting has been in trouble with city before


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    CHICAGO (WBBM) — A North Lawndale neighborhood business was ordered closed by Chicago Police, after it hosted a Halloween party that escalated into a mass shooting that wounded 15 people this past weekend.

City records reviewed by CBS News Chicago also show the space may have been operating as an unlicensed party venue for years, and city inspectors previously documented the property as “dangerous and hazardous.”

The shooting happened just after 1 a.m. Sunday near 13th Street and Pulaski Road. At least 15 people were hurt, and two were left in critical condition. Police said a suspect was captured a short distance away and placed into custody. A handgun was also recovered.

Monday morning, police issued a summary closure order for Studio 1258, at 1258 S. Pulaski Rd, which was hosting the Halloween party at the time of the shooting. Publicly available inspection records from the city’s Department of Buildings show in 2021, inspectors issued several building code violations for operating the building as an “unlicensed party venue,” for not having fire extinguishers or smoke detectors on the first or second floors, and for performing work on a gut rehab without obtaining a permit or submitting proper plans from an architect or structural engineer.

The city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) said Studio 1258 was doing business as Hampton Brand Inc. Studio 1258 has an active current limited business license for an art gallery and art sales. But in 2021, city inspectors also questioned whether the property was actually being used that way.

“There are no plans or permits for the current use of this space as an unlicensed small assembly/public place of assembly,” a June 2021 inspection report said. “The current license states this is an ‘art gallery,’ yet there is no artwork.”

It is unclear what enforcement action was taken, if any, based off the 2021 violations. CBS News Chicago filed Freedom of Information Act Requests with the city Monday for more information.

And this past May, BACP also issued cease-and-desist orders and citations to the business for operating without a public place of amusement license and operating without a liquor license.

Some neighbors said the business’ history is a poorly kept secret — and they would like the club to be closed for good.

“This block represents a safe space and a safe space for so many kids from our community,” said Mike Trout, executive director of the Young Men’s Education Network. “We’re hoping that this incident will help the city close the club down.”

Trout has run the Young Men’s Education Network across the street from Studio 1258 for more than two decades.

“It just takes that one area that you are not using for the right purposes that affect the rest of the block,” Trout said.

He also said the community was pleased to see the summary closure notice on the doors following Sunday’s mass shooting.

“It’s gone through a couple iterations – community bar, community hangout community club – now apparently art gallery,” Trout said, “but it’s not community asset.”

Trout would like to see this space become something positive for the youth he works with every day.

“I would love the young people of this community to help design what goes into that space, because I think they’ve been traumatized by this episode,” he said.

CBS News Chicago reached out to the owner of the property listed on state records. As of late Monday, there was no response or comment.

CBS News Chicago also learned the Halloween party began at 2144 W. Van Buren St. on the Near West Side, at a business called 9 Twenty-Eight & Co., before moving to the business on Pulaski Road. The BACP said 9 Twenty-Eight & Co was also issued three citations and a cease-and-desist order for operating without a public place of amusement business license.

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