(Above) An order of summary closure is pasted over the no gun sign at the rear entrance to Sound-Bar.
24-Mar-19 A Villa Park man has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection with a double shooting on March 8 outside of Sound-Bar, the long-running nightclub at 226 West Ontario Street in River North.
Police say 37-year-old Armond Williams (left) was part of a group that was denied entry to the club shortly after midnight on March 8. When a fistfight broke out between the group and the clubs doorman, Thurman Bailey, Williams pulled out a handgun and started shooting.
Bailey, age 28, was pronounced dead about an hour later. Another man, identified by hospitality industry sources as Sound-Bar co-owner Mark Jurcyzk, age 58, was injured by bullet fragments in his arm and leg.
Williams was identified through surveillance video of the incident.
According to Assistant Cook County States Attorney James Murphy, the trouble began on February 28 when a man arriving at Sound-Bar took exception with the way he was patted-down by security at the clubs entrance.
That man and Williams went back to Sound-Bar on March 8 and got into an argument with Bailey and other members of the bars staff, Murphy said during a bond hearing on March 22.
(Right) Google Street View of 226 West Ontario Street in River North, location of Sound-Bar nightclub.
The prosecutor said the fight escalated, Williams punched Bailey, and Bailey then pulled out a gun. That prompted Williams to pull out his own gun and fire four rounds, before he handed the gun to another member of his group. That man fired nine more rounds, striking Bailey again and injuring club owner Mark Jurcyzk, according to the state.
Police have identified the second shooter, but he has not been arrested or charged.
Bailey was able to return fire, but no one was injured by his shots, Murphy said.
Williams, according to his attorney, has a concealed-carry license and the clubs employees did not wear clothing that identified them as security personnel.
Circuit Judge Michael Clancy ordered Williams held without bail.
Sound-Bar now closed
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson issued a summary closure order of Sound-Bar on March 12. Since then, club owners have been working with city officials to develop a Nuisance Abatement Plan that would allow them to re-open the bar.
42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly said in an email to constituents that negotiations were underway to create an operating plan and avoid a contested hearing.
Reilly has asked the Chicago Liquor Control Commission to be far more aggressive with the citys nightclubs.
Im incredibly frustrated that the citys due process for problem liquor licenses protects club owners at the expense of neighbors, said Reilly (left) the day after the shooting. My wife and I live 100 feet from where this occurred. The nearby neighbors and I have been sounding the alarm bells and lodging complaints about these clubs and the criminal activity we witness every weekend, for years.
Problem clubs, says Reilly, are degrading the quality of life in River North. While police resources are focused on the neighborhoods nightclubs, he says they are stretched thin during the overnight hours.