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Kansas City shuts down illegal nightclub where 3 people died in a mass shooting

The corner of 57th Street and Prospect Avenue was the site of a June mass shooting that left three people dead and nine others injured.
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The corner of 57th Street and Prospect Avenue was the site of a June mass shooting that left three people dead and nine others injured.

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.

Updated: July 18, 2023 at 2:45 PM CDT
Update July 18, 2023: The Kansas City Commissioner of Revenue has revoked the business licenses of 5644 and 5646 Prospect Avenue. "Every division of Kansas City government takes the safety of our residents and visitors seriously," Mayor Quinton Lucas said on Twitter. The business may appeal the decision.

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.

“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.”

As KCUR’s Missouri politics and government reporter, it’s my job to show how government touches every aspect of our lives. I break down political jargon so people can easily understand policies and how it affects them. My work is people-forward and centered on civic engagement and democracy. I hold political leaders and public officials accountable for the decisions they make and their impact on our communities. Follow me on Twitter @celisa_mia or email me at celisa@kcur.org.
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