An angry Mayor Nutter stood outside a Feltonville club this afternoon, where blood still stained the sidewalk from an overnight shooting that left nine people wounded, and vowed that the venue would never open again.
"We're not putting up with this crap anymore," said Nutter, his face tight with emotion. "This place is closed, and we will do everything in our power to make sure it stays closed."
Nine people were shot early Sunday morning outside the Felton Supper Club in the 4800 block of Rising Sun Avenue.
Five women and four men, ages 19 to 35, were among the wounded. All were in stable condition at Temple University Hospital or Albert Einstein Medical Center, according to police.
The most seriously wounded, a 23-year-old man, was shot five times in the back and legs. His condition was upgraded Sunday afternoon from critical to stable at Temple.
Nutter stood before a throng of reporters, neighbors in windows, and a few passerby and said a $5,000 reward would be offered for information leading to the arrests and conviction of the people responsible for the shootings.
The attack happened around 2:45 a.m. as people exited the club and two young men walked into the street and opened fire, police said. No motive had been determined, police said.
"This could have been mass murder," said Nutter, with Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross at his side.
As the mayor spoke, amid the discarded concert fliers and empty beer bottles, the aftermath of the shooting littered the street: a tube of lip gloss, a bracelet, and a blood-stained pink stiletto shoe. Nutter said 18 shots had been fired.
The club has a history of gun violence, Ross said.
In December, a man was shot on the dance floor. And on New Year's Day, a man was shot and killed as he walked home from the club. The incident stemmed from an argument inside. Arrests were made in both shootings, Ross said.
The club draws thousands of people from the tristate area, Ross said.
It also has a history of violations with the Department of License and Inspection.
In January, the city sued and had the club shut down, Nutter said. The owner, Maria Lopez, according to city records, repetitioned, and "somehow," Nutter said, a judge ordered in April that the club could reopen.
Nutter said the city would be aggresssive in its efforts to keep the club closed. He spoke of revoking the club's licenses, going back to court to keep it closed, and having police officers stationed outside to assure it remains shut down. He added that other nuisance businesses could face closure.
The Felton Supper Club's large blue marquee looms over Rising Sun Avenue, surrounded by a church, a barbershop, and takeout food joints.
At a pizza shop, a manager, who wouldn't give her name, said the club had recently reopened with new management and some renovations inside.
A woman who works in a nearby bar, who also refused to be identified, recalled thinking that the gunshots Sunday morning were fireworks, until she looked out the window and saw people ducking for cover.
There had been fights outside the club, she said, with people "breaking bottles."
"But this," she said about the shooting, "is over the top."
As Nutter walked away, a neighborhood resident approached him and shook his hand. "We're with you, Mr. Mayor," the man said. "Whatever you need. This is our neighborhood."
Contact staff writer Kia Gregory at 215-854-2601 or email@example.com.