Kansas City shuts down illegal nightclub where 3 people died in a mass shooting
In June, three people were killed and nine others were injured in an early-morning shooting at a Prospect Avenue auto shop that moonlights as an after-hours club. Even before the shooting, the club was a hotspot for 911 calls and complaints from nearby residents.
Kansas City officials want to shut down an unlicensed, after-hours club on Prospect Avenue where three people were killed in a mass shooting in June.
The office of Mayor Quinton Lucas has put in a request to revoke the business licenses of 5644 Prospect and 5646 Prospect.
The locations hold licenses to operate as auto repair and sales shops, with various names including "Perfect Touch Auto Detail." According to the Missouri Secretary of State's office and city permit records, the businesses are registered as “Street Smart Motors," with Timothy McElroy named as the owner.
But at night, the locations transform into an unlicensed club, with none of the required city permits to serve liquor or operate as a nighttime establishment.
On June 25, three people were killed — 22-year-old Nikko Manning, 27-year-old Camden Brown and 28-year-old Jasisty Strong — and nine others were injured in ashooting just after 4:30 a.m.
I respect our businesses, but reckless disregard for the safety of patrons and our community will never be tolerated in Kansas City.— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) July 14, 2023
That’s why my office has filed for a revocation of the business license for the unlicensed nightclub at the center of the June 25 masa shooting. pic.twitter.com/WGZ5wS1aXi
“This individual has chosen to turn a blind eye to the repeated violent acts that puts lives in danger over and over and over again, and it doesn't seem like he's tried to remediate any of the concerns,” said Melesa Johnson, the mayor's public safety director of the business owner. “We felt like we owed it to the families and we owed it to the residents that might have patronized that establishment again, to do swift and strong action.”
Last month, Jackson County prosecutors charged 26-year-old Keivon M. Greene with two counts of second-degree murder and a third count of second-degree felony murder, and three counts of armed criminal action in connection with the mass shooting.
The request to revoke the licenses and close the businesses must be approved by the Commissioner of Revenue. Johnson said the business owner is entitled to a hearing, but the date has not yet been scheduled.
In the last year, the club became a hotspot for 911 calls and complaints from nearby residents. Records show that Kansas City Police officers responded to 39 emergency calls for service between midnight and 6 a.m. relating to the club and the intersection of 57th and Prospect. Some of these calls mention shootings, noise disturbances and suspicious activity.
According to the letter requesting revocation of the business licenses, the KCPD made at least five reports where people who were victims of or witnessed violent crime said they were there to attend a club.
Johnson said business owners have a responsibility to keep their patrons safe.
“Everybody plays a part in fostering a safer Kansas City: Neighborhood Association leaders, violence intervention workers, and the business community as well,” she said. “You owe it to your patrons to take necessary steps to ensure their safety, their longevity, and their prosperity. And unfortunately, that is not what this particular business owner did.”
However, the city did not take any action against the illegal club until after June’s mass shooting.
Johnson said the city’s Department of Regulated Industries wasn’t able to take any action against the club because it did not have any liquor license to begin with.
“Unfortunately, due to a breakdown in communication, those concerns and that knowledge and awareness of the after-hours nightclub never made it to other city departments so that they could evaluate how they could act,” she said.
Johnson said the city is now taking steps for greater collaboration and communication among different agencies and departments. This week, Kansas City Council passed legislation establishing a task force made up of city staff that will look at prioritizing the delivery of services to high-crime areas.
The task force will use data from the KCPD to identify these high-crime areas, with the idea that tackling issues like abandoned buildings, vacant lots and blight will contribute to a reduction in crime.
“Now we have this task force comprised of representatives from all these different city departments sitting around the table having constant conversations,” Johnson said. “So that if Regulated Industries can't act, let's see if the Parks Department can act. If Parks Department can't act, let's see if the business license office can act, just to make sure that we really leave no stone unturned as it pertains to the interventions that we as the city can have at every level.”