Dolton club source of regular complaints before fatal shooting, neighbors say

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DOLTON, Ill. — Neighbors living near a nightclub where a deadly shooting took place early Sunday say the establishment is a nuisance, and they feared it could bring violence to their neighborhood.

On the corner of 144th Place and Martin Luther King Drive in Dolton, the Sandpiper Lounge is closed by police order Monday. Neighbors who live nearby say they're regularly woken by loud music, but were roused by gunfire early Sunday morning.

Police say 31-year-old Angelneka Smith's ex-boyfriend shot her in front of the club multiple times, after starting an argument inside.

The Sandpiper Lounge is zoned for mixed use, including both commercial and residential. There is no signage out front, and it's listed online as a private members-only club.

Neighbors say the venue regularly attracts large crowds who pack the street with cars, often playing loud music late into the night.

"The culture of what this lounge brings to the neighborhood is not good," neighbor Robert Irvin said.

Susan Irvin says she has called and complained about loud noise multiple times, to no avail.

"They have nightclub ventures in the back yard, hot girl bikini wearing at the swimming pool on Sunday's, $25 to get in a gate in a residential area. I'm very upset and I don't appreciate it," Susan Irvin said.

WGN visited the home of the owner of the Sandpiper Lounge Monday, but he has not commented on the shooting as of Monday. Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers said there have been tickets issued against the club for noise level violations.

"There has been some noise complaints, some tickets issued there," Rogers said. "As far as any violence in that nightclub, there has not been any violence there."

Smith's death is the third murder in the last two-and-a-half weeks in Dolton.

On August 21, Marshia Bowman was shot in the head while driving her children home. Less than a week later, 16-year-old Akiera Boston was shot while sitting in a car outside a convenience store.

Community activist Andrew Holmes, himself a Dolton village trustee, says he is proposing late-night checkpoints with road stops beginning at midnight on the weekends there. The mayor has also asked for funding to hire an additional 15 police officers.

"Something needs to be done. How many deaths need to occur until something happens?" Susan Irvin said.

Dolton has also seen four police chiefs in the last five years. With a revolving door at the top, some are worried about the department getting a handle on the violence.

"It makes you scared when you live on a Main Street to walk at nighttime," neighbor Shanteka Perry said. "You don't feel protected."

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