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8 hurt, 4 critically during fight, shooting in River North

8 hurt, 4 critically during fight, shooting in River North
8 hurt, 4 critically during fight, shooting in River North 02:32

CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago police are investigating after eight people were shot in River North early Sunday morning.

Police said around 2:38 a.m. a group of individuals was fighting outside the Blum Restaurant and Bar in the 300 block of West Erie Street when an exchange of gunfire ensued.

8 hurt, 4 critically during fight, shooting in River North 01:52

Four of the eight victims were listed in critical condition Sunday afternoon: an unidentified man who was shot in the head, another man of unknown age who was shot in the abdomen, a 32-year-old man who was shot throughout the body and a 43-year-old woman who was shot in the abdomen. 

The other victims include a 27-year-old woman who was shot in the foot, a 25-year-old man who was shot in the lower part of the body, and a 23-year-old woman who was shot in the foot. They were all listed in good condition. 

The final victim is a 27-year-old man who suffered multiple gunshots. Police say his condition was stabilized. 

The rapid fire of gunshots in River North startled many residents like Yulia Ilina.  

"They were like nonstop," she said. "My husband counted, actually. He counted up to 14. So I was a little bit shocked. So I didn't count, but I heard a lot."

Snapchat video shows the moments before the shooting when the large group of people was fighting. 

"This is a family friendly neighborhood. You do have to get used to the bars and the restaurants, but the shootings have gotten a lot worse," said a concerned resident who did not want to share his name. 

Two years ago CBS 2 reported a bouncer was shot at the same club because he would not let a man inside. The bar was called Clutch at the time. It later changed the name to Blum. 

"On occassion we saw that the place was shut down," said Ilina. "Then they changed the name because it used to be Clutch before. Then it changed to a different name, but it's still the same."  

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) said he has been petitioning the Department of Business Affairs and the liquor commissioner to shut down the establishment for years. 

Reilly said in a statement:

I have been petitioning the Department of Business Affairs & Liquor Commissioner to shut down Clutch / Blum for years now, without success.

This bad establishment has been the source of chronic neighborhood complaints & has been linked to prior shooting incidents. Inexplicably, the city has allowed this nightclub to continue to operate, despite my prediction that it was just a matter of time before another shooting incident would occur.

Because the city has failed to close this bar, my office has been working to facilitate the sale of the building to have Blum shut down and evicted. In fact, the property is currently under contract to be sold next month.

I have asked CPD to issue a summary closure order to ensure this nightclub does not reopen before the building is sold and they are evicted next month. It is my understanding CPD is issuing a summary closure order today.

These late-hour nightclubs are a blight on River North many catering to gangbangers, drug dealers, and gun-toting patrons. Many of the gun crimes being committed downtown overnight are related to fights originating at these late-hour clubs, yet these operators are allowed to remain open.

The Commissioner of Business Affairs and his bureaucrats need to do their jobs, stop catering to these bad actors, and start revoking liquor licenses. It should not require a mass shooting to result in the closure of a problem nightclub. River North residents and I have been sounding the alarm to the city about Blum for years - yet the city has done nothing to discipline the club.

How many more people need to get shot before the City steps up to the plate and starts shutting down these bad operators? Downtown residents should not be forced to suffer because city bureaucrats refuse to do their jobs.

The alderman says the property is currently under contract to be sold next month. 

Area Three Detectives are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident. 

Just two years ago, CBS 2 reported on a shooting at the same location. At the time, the restaurant was called Clutch. 

A bouncer was shot after not letting a man inside. 

No arrests were made.

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