Five people were wounded in a shooting late Wednesday at this Gary social club. The suspected shooter is in custody. | Post-Tribune Photo
Updated: March 17, 2014 11:39AM
GARY — The Chicago man arrested at a shooting in a Midtown social club Wednesday night is charged with 10 felony counts.
Kendell Reed, 23, is on parole for a 2011 Illinois conviction for armed robbery. He is being held without bail at the Lake County Jail.
Several witnesses told police Reed entered the Safe and Sound Senior Citizens Center about 11:30 p.m. and said, “Everybody lay down, you know what time it is,” the probable cause affidavit states. The affidavit describes a chaotic scene, as someone flipped a table on its side for cover and others ran into a furnace room and locked it. Occupants of that room heard Reed demand they open the door “or he would kill everyone in the room,” the affidavit states. One of the men locked in the furnace room fired through the door.
Reed carried a semiautomatic handgun with an extended magazine, and when one of the club patrons, E.C. Robinson, 56, of Gary, announced he also had a gun, Reed started shooting people, the affidavit states. Robinson was shot in the feet and legs, and other witnesses said Robinson fired his handgun at Reed. The affidavit does not state which shooter struck Reed, who suffered a minor gunshot wound to his arm. He was treated and released from the Methodist Hospital Northlake campus that night.
When police arrived, they found the entrance door locked and heard victims shouting for help, saying, “He’s reloading.” A reserve officer fired his shotgun to open the door.
The social club is one of several gathering places in the city where friends meet to watch television and gamble. Safe and Sound was raided in 2011 by Indiana Excise Police who cited the owner, Jesse Sturgis, with several violations.
The Safe and Sound Senior Citizens Social Club, 2220 Broadway, was incorporated as a not-for-profit company in 2008. On Thursday, the day after the shooting, officers of the corporation filed documents with the Indiana Secretary of State to dissolve the company.
Detectives Cpl. Edward Gonzalez, Cpl. James Nielsen and James Bond continue to interview witnesses who were in the building Wednesday night, but did obtain enough information regarding the four gunshot victims to obtain charges. Steven Coleman, 43, of East Chicago, told police he was in a back room at the club when he heard gunfire and was struck in the elbow, wrist and upper leg. Will Harris, 45, of Chicago, said he dropped to the ground when Reed entered, and Harris “saw a man shooting around the room,” the affidavit states. Harris said he didn’t immediately realize he had been shot in the upper arm and buttocks. Nathaniel Jones, 76, of Gary, told police he was on the south side of the room when Reed entered and started shooting, the probable cause affidavit states. Jones was shot in the chest and buttocks.
Reed is charged with four counts of attempted murder, three counts of felony battery, and battery by means of a deadly weapon, a felon in possession of a handgun and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.