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No arrests in Merrillville nightclub shooting

Police are investigating an incident RaUltrClub Merrillville which three people were shot early Monday Aug. 11 2014. The club is

Police are investigating an incident at the Rain Ultra Club in Merrillville in which three people were shot early Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. The club is on East 83rd Avenue, just west of Southlake Mall. | Carole Carlson/Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 12, 2014 10:50PM



MERRILLVILLE — No one was in custody Tuesday after three people were shot outside Rain Ultra Club early Monday.

All three suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting, which police said occurred about 3 a.m. as a large crowd was leaving the nightclub at 1500 E. 83rd Ave.

No motive has been determined, Merrillville police Chief of Detectives Robert Wiley said Tuesday.

“All of our witnesses didn’t see anything, hear anything,” Wiley said.

Patrons and workers of neighboring businesses said Monday that they’re not surprised by the violence that erupted outside the nightclub.

Longtime patrons at Sheffield’s Restaurant and Sports Bar in the 1500 block of East 82nd Avenue, which backs up to the nightclub, said it’s not the first time there has been trouble at the club and its predecessors.

Tom Ditchcreek, of Valparaiso, was on his way to work about 4 a.m. and was heading north on Mississippi Street when he came upon the police activity. He said police had East 83rd Avenue blocked and additional squad cars could be seen on the property.

“I thought it was a crash at first,” he said.

The building has changed hands numerous times over the years and was previously Zero Gravity, Regal Beagle and Club 83 among others. It’s within a business park that includes a number of fast-food restaurants, retail stores and several hotels and motels.

A clerk at the Best Western, who declined to be identified, said guests at the hotel routinely complain to the front desk about the loud noise coming from the club. The hotel is the closest hotel to the spot.

Tina Popp, owner of John Cicco’s Menswear in the 8200 block of Mississippi Street, said she has had some minor concerns about the nightclub that have now grown in light of the shooting.

“The only problems we have had are beer bottles (in our parking lot) and sometimes people leave their cars,” Popp said.

She said the store is not open during the nightclub’s operating hours, but she worries about violent behavior spilling over onto her property.

“I am concerned during business hours of somebody coming in with the intention of malice,” she said.

Contributing:
Sun-Times Media Wire



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