EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) -- The mayor of East St. Louis isn’t blaming his city’s oft-maligned club scene for a weekend shooting that killed three people and wounded two others outside one of the entertainment venues.
Illinois State Police say the gunfire erupted early Sunday outside Club VIP. That was just days after St. Clair County’s top prosecutor credited a crackdown on violence-prone areas for a decrease in East St. Louis’ homicide rate.
Authorities identified one of the dead as 21-year-old Henry Byrd of Alton. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 19-year-old Alonzo Phifer of East St. Louis also was killed. The name of the third person killed wasn’t released.
Critics, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, have demanded earlier closing times for the city’s nightclubs, believing it could reduce violence.