Update: Sunset agrees to close
WARREN – City officials have given the downtown club where a man was shot to death early New Year’s Day five days to remove its business signs.
Warren Law Director Gregory Hicks said the Sunset Lounge said that the the club is officially closed for business effective immediately.
“I know that they were removing equipment and various items last night,” Hicks said during a news conference earlier today. “They are out of business.”
According to reports, Cory Blackwell, 25, of Francis Street S.E. was shot after a fight on the dance floor early New Year’s Day. Police are continuing to put the pieces together. According to reports gunfire erupted on the dance floor at the club around 2 a.m. Blackwell’s body was found outside. Although police initially said no one else was injured, officers have since confirmed that at least one more person was shot.
Earlier today city officials confirmed that their agreement with Sunset Lounge allows owner Joseph Sankey to sell the property or keep it without re-starting another business in order to avoid a long court process which city officials believe would have resulted in the bar’s closure.
According to the settlement agreement between the city and Sunset, the property is leased to Dream Team Promotions LLC, and the statutory agent for Dream Team is LaShawn Ziegler.
Last year Warren City Council agreed to ask the state to deny renewing the club’s liquor license.
Check back throughout the day for updates as they happen.