EAST ST. LOUIS , ILLINOIS ( KTVI)- Five young men were shot outside an East St. Louis night club around 2:15 Sunday morning; three of them killed, two others wounded.
East St. Louis Mayor, Alvin Parks, said one of the gunmen even shot at police, but missed.
The family of one of those killed, Henry 'Shorty' Bird, 21, called for drastic measures to stop the violence at clubs in east st. Louis.
Bird`s aunt, Miranda Williams, said he`d just gotten off work from his new job at midnight and gone to Club VIP in the 6800 block of State Street with his friends.
She was the one who got the call with the news and had to relay it to bird`s mother.
"I was like "Shorty`s been shot"," Williams said.
So had 4 others; the victims ages 18-21; a 19 and 20 year old also killed, after police said two groups of young men were kicked out of the club for fighting.
Williams admitted Bird was one of those who`d been kicked out of the clubs, but said he did not have a weapon; when he realized the suspects did, he tried to get back into the club; no one would let him in; so, he had nowhere to run.
"That`s when the boys ran up to them and shot them. They (Henry and others) were telling security, "they`ve got a gun, they`ve got a gun, let us in." They wouldn`t. They wouldn`t let them back in," Williams said.
"The first line of defense, is, "let me go to my weapon." We`ve got to stop the thought process that when it`s time to resolve an issue, "I`ve got to shoot someone." That`s a major issue," Parks said.
"I just want them brought to justice so my family can have closure and for those clubs to shut down..just keep us in your prayers. Young people, you need to get out of the clubs and into a church," Williams said.
The mayor said cracking down on thugs, not shutting down the clubs was the solution.
Still, he agreed security meant more than kicking people out of a club.
"You are responsible for walking people to their cars. You are responsible for walking people to their cars. You are responsible for making sure they get to their cars safely and that they leave the premises safely," he said of club owners.
"If they don`t, there`s a price to pay; for those who have liquor licenses, they have a price to pay."
Parks said Club VIP had met guidelines for recently restricted hours of operation. The shootings happened about 45 minutes before the required closing time of 3:00 A.M.
He said the club was hosting an alcohol-free party for about 150 young people.
As of Sunday afternoon, police had yet to release the names of the other victims.
Police said the two survivors were treated for gunshot wounds at a hospital, and released.
Parks says police had questioned 3 persons of interest in the case.
If you have any information call crime-stoppers at 866-371-tips. You may get a reward and you don't have to leave your name.
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