Crime

Police close club, laundromat near fatal shooting for alleged code violations

Police shut down a private club and adjacent laundromat Wednesday in Tacoma’s Lincoln District, after officers said they noticed code violations while investigating a fatal shooting nearby.

City code-enforcement officers inspected the club at 3825 S. Yakima Ave. at 10 a.m., and authorities shut it down an hour later, police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.

“There was a bunch of construction that had been completed with no permits obtained; all the electrical was done without permits obtained,” Cool said.

A motorcycle club called Outlaw Anniversary Clique 105 MC appears to use the space, and the laundry facility is the Yakima Self Service Laundromat, police said.

No arrests have been made in connection to the shooting, and police say there’s no evidence the homicide was connected to either of the businesses closed. Police have had no significant issues with the motorcycle club or the property, Cool said.

Quanaje Hampton identified herself as the owner of the property, which she said she rents out.

“We’re just temporarily closing down due to some permit issues,” she said. “We should be back open by next week, Monday. It’s just a hassle and an inconvenience to have to close my business.”

Michael Ward Jr., 32, was shot and killed about 4 a.m. Sunday near South Yakima Avenue and South 39th Street. When officers questioned people inside the nearby club, they noticed possiblecode violations.

“Based on what was observed the night of the shooting and (subsequent) inspection, they discovered I think numerous life safety issues in both the club and the laundromat, which are owned by the same person,” Cool said.

Hampton’s business, QH Group LLC, is listed in county records as the taxpayer for 3825 and 3827 S. Yakima Ave.

She said the property was not connected to the shooting, and she believes the shooting was the reason the businesses there were being closed.

“The city shouldn’t be able to come and close down my establishment because an incident happened that didn’t have anything to do with me,” she said. “I feel like I’m being closed due to that incident.

“If there wasn’t an incident, there wouldn’t have been a reason to come and check the business.”

Cool said police officers who see violations while performing their duties routinely report them to city code-enforcement workers.

Neither the laundromat or the club has a Tacoma business license , according to the city’s online database.

Whether a private club needs a license depends whether its fees and services, according to the city’s Tax and Licensing Department. Police had not determined Wednesday exactly what services the Outlaw club provides.

Club operators told police it was only open to membersand not to the public, which would make it a private club, versus a nightclub, Cool said.

A laundromat requires a business license, according to the Tax and Licensing Department.

Cool said officers reported seeing people drinking alcohol at the private club when they investigated the shooting. That would be a violation after 2 a.m. in a commercial building, Cool said, and police notified the state Liquor Control Board.

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