7 Were Shot, Bullet-Riddled Car Outside Gary Club

One person is in custody and Gary police are tracking down another person of interest after seven people were shot early Sunday morning at a nightclub, police said.

The seven people were shot at the adults-only Dirtty’s Jazz and Blues Club in a commercial strip outside Gary’s Miller neighborhood, police said.

At 2:33 a.m. Sunday, Gary police responded to a call reporting a gunshot victim at the live music venue on the 4600 block of Melton Road. It sits in a commercial stretch filled with gas stations and fast-food restaurants where U.S. 12 and U.S. 20 split on the city’s east side. Dirtty’s is a nightclub known for its live music that has an “adults 40 and up” policy, which some bars in Gary use to keep out a younger, rowdier crowd.

Police discovered that four men and three women suffered gunshot wounds. An eighth victim suffered a leg injury while trying to run to safety.

One victim was taken to a hospital in Chicago, indicating more serious injuries than are typically treated locally. Most of the victims are believed to be in stable condition, according to police.

“All victims were treated at area hospitals and there are no current updates as to their condition at this time,” Gary Police Department Lt. Dawn Westerfield said in a news release. “The incident appears to be isolated and at least one person of interest has been identified.”

Dirtty’s, which boasts that it “features the best live entertainment in Northwest Indiana and South Chicagoland,” was closed Sunday, though several cars were parked outside. The front door was locked, and no one answered the phone. The well-reviewed venue, which reopened in 2014, normally hosts live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and has a Sunday brunch.

A maroon Chevrolet Impala with Indiana plates parked in front of the jazz club was riddled with bullet holes. At least six bullets tore through the windshield, driver’s side door, driver’s side rear view mirror and engine.

The parking lot was filled with half-empty beer bottles, broken glass, spilled food and stray cats early Sunday evening, as a television news crew from Chicago filed a live report from across the street.

Gary Police Department Detective Sgt. William Fazekas said one man was in custody, and police were working to track down another person of interest.

The Dirtty’s nightclub shooting was the third mass shooting in Gary this year, and the fourth in Northwest Indiana, according to the national Gun Violence Archive. In September, five were wounded when a gunman fired into a group at the 4300 block of West 23rd Court in the Oak Knoll Renaissance Apartments in Gary. A man was killed and four others were wounded after a dispute at the Hustle & Joe’s bar on Grant Street in February.

Anyone with information about the latest shooting is encouraged to call Fazekas at 219-881-1210. Tips can be left anonymously on the Gary Police Department’s Crime Tip Line at 866-CRIME-GP.

nwitimes contributed to this report.

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