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Video Shows Man Firing Shots Outside Funky Buddha Lounge

By  Stephanie Lulay and Erica Demarest | December 4, 2014 5:40am | Updated on December 4, 2014 12:55pm

 A low-resolution video obtained by DNAinfo Chicago captures a Nov. 9 shooting outside Funky Buddha Lounge, 728 W. Grand Ave.
A low-resolution video obtained by DNAinfo Chicago captures a Nov. 9 shooting outside Funky Buddha Lounge, 728 W. Grand Ave.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated to note that three men were arrested in connection with the Nov. 9 shooting, which prosecutors said stemmed from a fight inside Funky Buddha Lounge.

RIVER WEST — A West Loop leader said he is "horrified" after watching surveillance video of a Nov. 9 shooting outside a River West bar that neighbors now want shut down in the wake of a second shooting, one that left a man severely wounded over the weekend.

No one was serioulsy hurt in the first shooting, which was captured on low-resolution video obtained by DNAinfo Chicago. It was taken early the morning of Nov. 9 outside Funky Buddha Lounge, 728 W. Grand Ave., according to a source who provided the footage but requested anonymity.

The 77-second video appears to show a man as he walks on the sidewalk in front of the lounge and enters a "wind blocker" vestibule attached to the front entrance of the lounge.

The man raises a gun and appears to fire shots across busy Grand Avenue while standing in the entrance, and then points the gun from the vestibule door again and appears to fire another shot.

A short time later, the shooter casually leaves the vestibule with another man who was inside the wind blocker. They then both walk out of view.

During the entire incident, a third man is seen standing next to the vestibule entrance in the video. The man appears to open the door for the shooter at one point and at no point attempts to stop him, take cover or flee.

Stephanie Lulay describes what we are seeing in the video, and how the neighborhood is reacting:

Donald Shedrick, 47, of Auburn Gresham, was charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and ordered held on $150,000 bail by Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Shedrick fired five or six shots outside the club at 3:20 a.m. One bullet hit a person's coat, but that person wasn't seriously hurt, prosecutors said.

Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said the shooting stemmed from a fight in the club.

Two other men were charged in connection with the incident. Henry Lovelady, 27, of North Lawndale, and Cortney Johnson, 28, of South Shore, were charged with aggravated battery in a public place.

Bob Aiken, vice president of  Neighbors of the West Loop, said the shooter's brazen actions firing shots across the street — including some that hit the window of a condo where neighbors were sleeping — were shocking.

"It's crazy, horrifying to see something like this in a nice neighborhood — in my backyard," Aiken said. "This is a block away from my house and where I walk my dog nightly."

The owner of the condo that was hit by a bullet that night moved his family out of the building after the shooting.

"It's too dangerous to live there right now," he said Monday night.

Nick Stavropoulos, co-owner of the Funky Buddha, said Wednesday he couldn't comment on the surveillance tape, citing an ongoing police investigation.

While the bar had closed around 3 a.m. that Sunday, the vestibule door had not been locked yet, Stavropoulos said, allowing the shooter to take cover inside the structure.

Stavropoulos would not say whether the shooter was a patron or employee of the bar.

Previously, he said he was outside in his car at the time of that shooting and ran inside when the shots were fired to call police.

He said the bar has cooperated with police.

Police are investigating the incident, in which no one was hurt.

Aiken said the video is further proof that the lounge needs to close for good.

"On the nights that Funky Buddha is not open, there isn't as much crime in the neighborhood," Aiken asserted.

The Nov. 9 surveillance video was provided to DNAinfo Chicago after a second shooting near Funky Buddha caused River West neighbors to call for the longtime bar's closing.  The second shooting happened about 3 a.m. Sunday, and about 500 people have signed a neighborhood petition asking Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) to close the bar. 

In the more recent shooting, a 27-year-old man was critically injured when he was shot multiple times by an off-duty Cook County sheriff's deputy outside the lounge, according to police.

In that incident, the off-duty officer shot the man after he said he heard gunshots and saw the man waving a gun in a crowd.

Police said a car accident outside the bar prompted the shooting.

Two men were charged in the incident and are being held without bail.

Stavropoulos said surveillance video at the club confirmed that Sunday morning's shooting was spurred by a car accident, not an argument in the club.

"Because we're the only black club in a white neighborhood, of course the neighbors are going to blame us," he said earlier this week.

Burnett plans to address the recent violence in the neighborhood at a CAPS meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 11 at Coyne College, 330 N. Green St. Burnett said he has asked Near West Police District Cmdr. Melissa Staples, Stavropoulos and a representative from the city liquor commissioner's office to attend.

"Then we'll take it from there," Burnett said Wednesday. "We're going to bring all of the bodies to the table."

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