Mayor defends city's clubs after deadly shooting
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A weekend shooting that left three people dead and wounded two others outside an East St. Louis nightclub shouldn't be blamed on the struggling city's entertainment scene that critics insist contributes to nagging violence, the mayor said.
The deadly gunfire that erupted early Sunday outside Club VIP, which does not serve alcohol, came just days after St. Clair County's top prosecutor credited a crackdown on violence-prone areas of the city for a sharp decrease in the city's homicide rate.
Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. said the dispute began over someone dancing with a woman while the business was hosting a "teen night" event. After the men were forced to leave the business, Illinois State Police said, the dispute escalated with gunfire on the parking lot.
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