WARREN, Ohio - As Warren police continue to investigate a fatal shooting on New Year's Day, the bar where the gunfire took place is now closed for good.
The property owner of the Sunset Lounge has not only agreed to temporarily suspend his business and liquor license, but also cut ties with the group that operated the bar, Dream Team Promotions, LLC.
It was a move made by the owner, Joseph E. Sankey, Jr., to avoid a nuisance abatement action from the city.
Warren's mayor hopes this swift action sends the right message to anyone considering behavior on the wrong side of the law.
"It's an important signal that we mean business," said Warren's Mayor William Franklin.
"This agreement is going to effectively stop, or send that signal that we won't tolerate any type of business that operates lawlessly or has bad clientele," Franklin said.
The deal ironed out includes removing any signage for the bar within the next five days.
While Sankey may consider selling his liquor license in the future, he must first go before the state division of liquor control for a review.
With the bar now shutdown, the neighboring business owner says he's relieved.
"I know everybody, business people in the city are relieved also, just because it did not give downtown Warren a good name," said Ken Haidaris, owner of the Sunrise Inn.
The Sunrise Inn has been in business since 1929. Haidaris believes now that the Sunset Lounge is closed, more customers will patronize downtown establishments.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the homicide across the street is ongoing.
Cory Blackwell, 25, of Warren, died from a gunshot would just after 2 a.m. New Year's morning.
Warren police have released the scene inside and outside the bar for their investigation purposes according to city officials.
Still, no suspect has been named.
On Thursday, detectives interviewed one of the mother's of Blackwell's children, who told 21 News that Blackwell ran into her arms after he was apparently shot in the stomach.
She says she's unsure of a motive for the shooting and hopes investigators can soon shed some light.