Venue where five people were shot operated illegally

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans city officials have issued a property code violation to the Mid-City venue outside of which there was a quintuple shooting Saturday, saying the building was illegally being used as a reception hall.

The move comes after an association representing the neighborhood loudly demanded that city officials come down on businesses that were operating beyond their permitted uses in a neighborhood that has experienced a series of high-profile killings since. And it follows the city's ordering Entergy New Orleans to cut off power to the property, which was found to be violating city electricity regulations.

New Orleans' chief building official Zachary Smith issued both violation notices to the Mid-City Event Center's owner, Allen Borne, records show. Penalties for property code violations in New Orleans can include fines.

Borne could not immediately be reached for comment.

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The site where the Mid-City Event Center sits had only received permission to operate as a restaurant.

The Mid-City Event Center at 3719 Ulloa St. was hosting a large party about 12:40 a.m. Saturday when gunfire outside the facility erupted. Three young men — Zach Nelson, Aaron Melton and Larry King — were killed, and two other people were wounded during the shooting that erupted near where Ulloa and Tulane meet.

The deaths provoked an intense reaction on social media.

The 21-year-old Nelson, a 2014 graduate of St. Augustine High School, had dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon and had been saving up money to move out of New Orleans, worried about the violence there.

Melton, 24, and King, 25, left behind young children, according to their relatives.

There have been 18 percent more deadly and non-fatal shooting incidents reported in New Orleans this year than in any other this decade, according to statistics compiled by local crime trends analyst Jeff Asher.

Police have not announced any arrests in the case, and authorities are offering $5,000 for tips that lead to criminal charges against whoever was responsible.

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Saturday's quintuple shooting followed another incident in which gunfire on the 3700 block of Ulloa killed three people and wounded two others.

Two men then died in separate daytime shootings at the corners of South Cortez and D'Hemecourt streets as well as South Scott and Ulloa in the months leading up to Saturday's mayhem. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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