INDIANAPOLIS – A northwest side bar that was the site of a deadly shooting has been operating illegally, without a liquor or food license, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
With surveillance cameras rolling early Saturday morning, at least two people shot at each other while others ran for cover in the parking lot at JD’s Pub. One woman hit by the gunfire was being driven to the hospital before the car crashed on I-65. Deja Morse, 27, died following the shootout.
The business, located in the 6900 block of Eagle Highlands Way, is now closed indefinitely. IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams said the Pike Township Fire Department and IMPD’s Nuisance Abatement Unit issued a closure order preventing the business from operating “for the foreseeable future.”
“We’re just seeing things get wild and out of control in a lot of bars and nightclubs,” IMPD Captain Christopher Boomershine said. “The drinking and the partying leads to chaos, disorder and violence.”
Boomershine, who works on IMPD’s commercial crimes unit, said the death of Deja Morse may have been avoidable because the owner of JD’s Pub didn’t have a liquor license or a certificate from the health department to serve food. The pub also allegedly lacked an entertainment permit from the state.
“All of those would require inspections by those agencies and in this case JD’s Pub did not have any of those,” said Boomershine. “It should not have been open whatsoever.”
Court records show this is not the first time the same owner has been forced to shut down a business following a shooting. Kamari Driver was also charged with multiple counts of maintaining a common nuisance last year for allegedly running a bar without the proper permits on East Troy Avenue.
That business, called the Red Lounge, was forced to shut down after two people were wounded in a shooting in August.
“City legal obtained a court order to close the Red Lounge,” Boomershine said. “When that happened, he moved to the northwest district and opened JD’s Pub and we were in the process of investigating that when this young lady was shot.”
Police said JD’s Pub had only been open for a couple of weeks when the homicide took place, but prosecutors could now seek additional felony charges against the owner for corrupt business practices.
Court records show the owner also has an active warrant for his arrest in connection to a separate domestic violence report in Hendricks County.
IMPD does not have authority to shut down any illegal business operation, but they do partner with other agencies as part of nuisance abatement task force. The Pike Township fire marshals office issued closure order against JD’s. The case remains under investigation, IMPD said.