The shooting occurred at Club 4Play at 35-35 Steinway St. just after 4 a.m., according to Captain Osvaldo Nunez, the commanding officer of the 114th Precinct. Several men got into a dispute at the club and as they walked out, a suspect fired five shots into the street.
NYPD officials said the first victim, a 33-year-old Far Rockaway man, was crossing Steinway Street when he heard several shots fired. The man was shot in the ankle and then ran through a nearby parking lot to call 911.
Another man traveling with him, a 29-year-old Far Rockaway man, was hit in the stomach. Both men were transported to Elmhurst Hospital. While the first victim is recovering, the 29-year-old man is now paralyzed, Nunez said.
There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing. Police have several leads and believe the shooter may be a 17-year-old. The victims are not cooperating and Nunez said one of the men is a member of the Bloods.
“They don’t want to work with us,” Nunez said. “Our detectives are going to have to solve this case through other means.”
The club, which used to operate as Club Lit, was not generating as many complaints as other night clubs on Steinway Street, Nunez said. He deploys squad cars to travel across the busy strip on the weekends to patrol the nightlife.
While most of the problematic clubs are located along 28th Avenue, Club 4Play is located on 35th Avenue and was scheduled for a visit sometime in March.
“[Club 4Play] was low priority. It was not generating much violence or complaint reports,” he said. “They have moved up on my priority list.”
The club was visited by the State Liquor Authority on Feb. 2 and summonsed for operating as a topless bar. When Community Board 1 voted to approve their liquor license, they added a stipulation that the club could not act as a strip club. But members found that the club had been advertising topless dancing and alerted the SLA.
The club was summonsed for featuring stripper poles and a number of other offenses, Nunez said.
Problems were also reported when the club went by a different name: Club Lit. In 2015, a patron fired at a bouncer when he wasn’t allowed to re-enter. Police found crystal meth and Xanax in his car that night.
The NYPD is asking to shut down the club with a nuisance abatement request and the SLA is expected to remove their liquor license, Nunez said. A spokesperson for the SLA did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.