Chicago Ald. Brian Hopkins is asking the city’s top cop to shut down a hookah lounge in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood where a bouncer was shot and killed early on New Year’s Day.
Hopkins, who represents the city’s 2nd Ward including the Ukrainian Village community, said the recent shooting death is one of many violent acts that have occurred at the Lyon’s Den Hookah Lounge, 2123 W. Division St. According to Chicago police, an unknown gunman attempted to enter the business by force while brandishing a handgun at approximately 1:30 a.m. Jan. 1. Then, gunfire was exchanged between the gunman, bouncer and another victim.
The bouncer, identified as Austin McAllister, a U.S. Army veteran and father of six, was shot multiple times and later died at the hospital.
Alan McAllister, Austin’s twin brother, spoke to NBC 5 in the days following the shooting, sending a message to whoever shot and killed his twin.
“…You senselessly just take my brother’s life because you are not allowed to get into a hookah lounge,” he said.
Austin McAllister’s shooting death was the final straw for Hopkins, who sent a letter to Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, asking that the business be shut down.
“This is the 5th incident in a little over a year,” the alderman said. “The justification to close this building is rock solid.”
He said the first shooting at the Lyon’s Den happened in October 2021.
“We’ve had people in vehicles shooting at people in the sidewalk in front of the business, [and] we got people on the sidewalk shooting at each other,” he said.
Hopkins said that he has addressed the violence with the Lyon’s Den staff before.
“For the most part they’ve been cooperative, they’ve tried to do the things that they think a responsible business should do, but it hasn’t worked,” he said.
He mentioned that the security measures at the Lyon’s Den have been inadequate. He said the business has been cooperative in the investigation into the deadly shooting, but the only option is to shut the lounge down.
“The fact is that it’s happening, it’s happening on their watch and they’re accountable for the people they are attracting to their business,” he said.
Alan McAllister agrees with the alderman and is asking that the Lyon’s Den be shut down as well.
“Ya, I don’t want to anybody to go there no more,” he said. “I don’t want nobody else to have to lose a loved one to senseless violence.”
The Lyon’s Den did not respond to NBC 5’s multiple requests for comment. NBC 5 also reached out to Chicago police, and we have yet to receive a response. Hopkins said he is in communication with Brown and is expecting to hear an answer early next week about whether Lyon’s Den will be shut down.
Soruce : https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-alderman-asks-city-to-shut-down-hookah-lounge-after-bouncer-shot-and-killed/3039498/