INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis police are asking state and local agencies to investigate a business where a man was killed Sunday. They say the business was operating without all of the necessary licenses for the events it was holding.
Police were called to the business in the 2800 block of South Madison Avenue early Sunday morning on the report of a person shot. They found the man, identified by the Marion County Coroner's Office as 19-year-old Jamear Powell, in the parking lot of a nearby Popeyes.
Two other people who were injured in the shooting at that same business later showed up at Eskenazi Hospital. Detectives believe they were injured in the same incident.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Christopher Boomershine, who works for the department's commercial crimes branch, said they were shot at Pollos Los Reyes during a party with a rap performer. People as young as 14 years old were in attendance that night, according to Boomershine.
As the investigation continued, Boomershine said detectives determined while the business had a liquor license, they didn't have a food permit from the Marion County Public Health Department or an entertainment license from the Indiana State Fire Marshals Office.
Both agencies have been asked by IMPD to conduct an inspection, Boomershine said. IMPD is hoping those inspections will result in a closure order.
On Monday, a food service establishment inspection report from the MCPHD shows the business was ordered to close until it obtained a license as a retail food establishment.
In order to reopen, the business needs to complete a plan review and have it approved, according to the report. The business can file a request for an administrative hearing within 10 business days of the violation being issued.
According to Boomershine and online records from the state, the liquor license for the business, operating as SNA Restaurants Inc., is set to expire on Aug. 28.
IMPD will likely speak out against the liquor license renewal in August, Boomershine said. If they do, Boomershine said they will also ask the community to join them.
The weekend shootings were not the first to take place in that area this year. On Jan. 1, Dominguez Hipolito, 35, was found fatally stabbed in the parking lot of the business, according to IMPD. His death marked the city's first homicide of the year.
“He was the perfect gentleman," his sister Nicole Dominguez told WRTV, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. "He supported financially his mother, who’s widowed, his wife of 12 years and 3 kids. He'd travel back and forth to Mexico and visit his family between jobs."
Boomershine's message is for everyone to do their own research and ask if a place is properly licensed.
"If you see things getting out of control, it's probably time to leave and call IMPD to respond," Boomershine said. "Some places have security, some places do not. Sometimes the security is licensed and sometimes it is not."
In recent months, IMPD appears to be using the licenses as a way to crack down on businesses where violent crimes have happened.
"We are just seeing a lot of poor business practices and disregard for proper licensing at a lot of establishments," Boomershine said.
Earlier this month, IMPD worked with the Pike Township Fire Marshal to shut down a pub on the northwest side where a 27-year-old woman was shot and killed. IMPD said it had been operating without a license and proper permits for the last year.
Last month, IMPD spoke at a public meeting in support of denying Taps and Dolls and Tikki Bob's its liquor license renewal. Ultimately, the local and state alcohol boards denied a liquor license extension to Taps and Dolls, but Tiki Bob's was given a second chance.
Boomershine is encouraging people to do their own research, determine if the businesses they are visiting are properly licensed and report any concerns to police by calling Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477), where tips can remain anonymous.
He also said anyone who is at a business and has concerns for their safety or sees anything getting out of hand should leave and call IMPD if necessary.