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Police Supt. Closes Iyanze After New Year's Double Homicide

By Josh McGhee | January 4, 2017 3:10pm | Updated on January 4, 2017 3:33pm
 Iyanze, 4623 N. Broadway, was the scene of 2017's first and second homicides.
Iyanze, 4623 N. Broadway, was the scene of 2017's first and second homicides.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

UPTOWN — An Uptown business known for its West African cuisine has been closed by police following a shooting on New Year's Day that left two men dead.

Wednesday, an orange sign stating the business was closed "by Order of the Superintendent of Police" was posted on two windows of Iyanze, 4623 N. Broadway.

There is no timeline for the closure, but the business will be closed at least "as long as it takes for detectives to investigate the crime scene," said Officer Michelle Tannehill, a Chicago Police Department spokeswoman.

At 4:25 a.m., Maurice Delaney, 38, and Ali Mohamed, 31, were shot in the 4600 block of North Broadway. Delaney was shot in his chest and right leg, and a 31-year-old man was shot multiple times in his right side, police said.

Both men were taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where they died.

According to the sign, the business has been deemed a public safety threat allowing a summary closure "requiring the immediate cessation of all business activities at, and the closure of this establishment."

Under the city's problem bar ordinance, the owner of the business has the right to request a probable cause hearing with the mayor to determine if a public safety threat occurred. A decision on the matter must be given no later than two days after the hearing.

If the owner fails to request a probable cause, nuisance abatement hearing or appear at a requested hearing, the business may be closed for up to six months, according to the sign posted at Iyanze.

The restaurant has an incidental liquor license, but does not have a public place of amusement license, said Tressa Feher, chief of staff for Ald. James Cappleman (46th). 

Earlier this week, Cappleman advocated for the restaurant to be shut down.

"He's talked to the station three or four times and asked them to push and make this happen," Feher said Tuesday.

After the closure Wednesday, Cappleman said he fought for the closure because "public safety is crucial to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods."

"Due to previous nuisance complaints from residents and neighboring businesses, I met with the operator of Iyanze this past June to discuss the late night parties that they were holding on premises and how they were disruptive to the neighborhood. Additionally, we discussed the limits of their business license and issues that may result if I continued to hear complaints about noise and other nuisance issues," Cappleman said.

The alderman also asked the business to participate in the Wilson Corridor task force of businesses, which works with CPD and the Cook County Attorney's Office, "to promote public safety," but the owner did not participate, he said.

"The incident on New Year's Day was incredibly alarming due to the nature of the crime and the resulting gun fire that spread out into the street. We have not had an incident like this which resulted in a murder within a business since I have been Alderman, and I hope we never have one again," he said.

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