IMPD investigating party promoter for lack of multiple permits

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INDIANAPOLIS – Questions remain surrounding the deadly shooting that happened outside an after-hours club on Massachusetts Avenue last weekend. Police are investigating the promoter of that party for multiple violations.

Candles now sit in the parking lot of 5462 Massachusetts Avenue, bullet holes still mark the glass doors, and there’s a notice from the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD).

The building was the site of a shooting where three people were killed, and four others were injured. It happened after a flyer promoted an after-hours party with food, drinks, and entertainment from midnight to 5 a.m. on October 4.

“We believe that the individuals were located outside of the establishment. It is unclear if anything occurred inside at this time,” said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Officer Samone Burris. 

The coroner’s office identified the deceased as 27-year-old James Upshaw, 32-year-old Juan Reveria and 33-year-old Shanya Johnson.

Now police say the promoter of this party is being investigated for operating illegally without proper permits, including permits for food and entertainment. The Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) confirms to us that the liquor license for this facility is inactive. 

CBS4 reached out to the MCPHD to see what steps are being taken since this party was in violation of current COVID-19 orders. They provided the following statement:

The Marion County Public Health Department continues to monitor businesses for violations of the current public health order. We look for violations based on complaints from the public, or violations that we find during a routine inspection of a retail food establishment, such as a restaurant, bar or nightclub.

MCPHD expects businesses to be in compliance of all requirements for that particular business, as detailed in the current public health order. For example, all bars, restaurants, nightclubs and retail food establishments must be closed and cleared of customers between the hours of Midnight and 5 a.m.

Businesses determined to be in violation of a public health order face a fine in court of $1000.

In the case of the business located at 5462 Massachusetts Ave., MCPHD found the business to not have a current license to operate as a retail food establishment and ordered it closed as of Oct. 5. A valid food license and passing inspection is required for a business to provide food or beverage service.

Police say during a pandemic or not, this event should not have happened and now people have lost their lives. Police want party promoters to understand you can go to jail and face criminal charges for hosting events if you don’t take the right steps.

Depending on the permit violations, most offenses would be a Class C infraction or a B misdemeanor, according to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. For example, that includes alcohol selling without a license. Any COVID guideline violations are handled by the MCPHD. We’ve learned there are normally a few steps or warnings before cases are referred to the prosecutor’s office.

According to the latest MCPHD order, all restaurants, bars, nightclubs and retail food establishments must be closed and cleared of all customers between the hours of 12-5 a.m. nightly. Along with a list of other requirements.

According to IMPD Lt. Bill Carter, who is in charge of handling cases like this, he’s been in contact with the promoter. For many facilities like this they are leased out through multiple people, that way the building is used for many different events.

We were unable to find contact information for promoter of this specific event.

This event and promoter remains under investigation.

Anyone with information about this incident should call the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477 or (TIPS).

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