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Nightclub could be headed for closure

By Mike Genet mike.genet@examiner.net

Even before the early Sunday shooting in the parking lot outside 9ine Ultra Lounge on the Independence-Kansas City border, which left four people wounded, Kansas City officials were considering revoking the nightclub’s liquor license.  

Jim Ready, manager with the city's regulated industries division, said he sent the club owner Alphonso Hodge a letter of possible revocation the Monday before this past weekend’s shooting. The club just opened a year ago in a strip center off the southwest corner of U.S. 40 and Noland Road, and a mass shooting outside the club in January killed two people, including the gunman shot dead by a security guard, and left at least 15 injured. Another earlier shooting there injured one person who declined to press charges. Ready said the pandemic delayed his division’s ability to build their case.

“It takes awhile for the process to go through,” Ready said, “but now we’ve got more than enough that this isn’t going to change.”

A hearing will be scheduled before the Liquor Control Board of Review, where Ready and Hodge will present their cases and the board rules whether or not to revoke.

Kansas City Police continue to investigate Sunday’s shooting, and they said Tuesday morning two victims have been released from the hospital. Two other victims, a male and a female, are in intensive care but are considered to be in stable condition.

Police said Sunday’s shooting, reported after 2 a.m., apparently stemmed from an argument that happened inside the club and spilled out into the parking lot, where “multiple people” fired dozens of rounds. When officers arrived, they found a man in his 40s with multiple gunshot wounds, considered life-threatening. At the scene, police learned from dispatch that three other people had been taken in private vehicles to area hospitals after reportedly getting shot in the melee. 

Hodge, a former Kansas City Chiefs player, had briefly closed the club following the January shooting. According to KSHB-TV news, Hodge said the scene was good when he closed the bar about 1:30 a.m. Sunday and went home.