WICKER PARK — Police have shut down The Point bar and venue in Wicker Park after a customer was shot in the eye over the weekend, the second shooting to hit the late-night bar in about five months.
On Tuesday, a notice was posted on the door of the club at 1565 N. Milwaukee Ave. stating The Point was a “public safety threat” and was shut down by police Supt. David Brown. A Chicago Police Department spokesman confirmed the closure to Block Club, but had no further information.
The shooting happened just before 5:10 a.m. Sunday, a few minutes after the bar had closed for the night, according to Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st) and Jun Lin, owner of The Point.
Police said a 29-year-old man was inside The Point when he “heard shots outside and felt pain.” According to the Sun-Times, which obtained an internal police report, the gunman opened fire from across the street, firing at least 10 shots into the bar. Officers found the 29-year-old bleeding on the floor of the club, the Sun-Times reported.
The victim was taken to Stroger Hospital with a gunshot wound to his right eye, police said. He was listed in serious condition.
La Spata and Lin said the victim wasn’t the intended target of the shooting. He works at a nearby bar and went to The Point for a nightcap, they said.
“It’s really frustrating and disappointing to see this young man — someone who was completely an unintended victim in all of this” … get shot, La Spata said.
Lin did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.
The business closure notice states Lin can request a hearing “before the mayor to determine whether a public safety threat occurred.”
If the owner fails to request a hearing, the business could stay closed for up to six months, the notice reads.
This is the second time in five months that the Wicker Park bar has been the site of a shooting. One person was killed and four others were wounded Oct. 10 in a shooting outside of the bar.
Police said that incident stemmed from a bar fight inside The Point. After the altercation, workers decided to close for the night, which resulted in people congregating in the street, and then, a bout of gunfire, police said.
Lin has, however, denied that an altercation inside led to the bar’s closing. He told Block Club in October that he called 911several times to get help with rowdiness on the street before the shooting occurred.
Still, La Spata said he’s concerned over the similarities between the two shootings.
“I cannot say that The Point was to blame for this, but to have two shootings at least marginally in connection with this business is really troubling for Wicker Park residents and in general,” the alderperson said.
Lin said Monday he has “no idea” what prompted the most recent shooting.
The bar owner said he can’t be blamed for what has become a “Chicago violence problem.” The city recorded nearly 800 homicides last year, the most in 25 years.
“We’re doing everything we can in terms of being a business. We were simply victimized twice with shootings. That’s violence in Chicago. I don’t think the answer is to my close business, when we haven’t done anything wrong,” he said Monday.
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