Board discusses nightclub’s future after weekend shooting

Van Gogh Lounge (Photo: WPRI / Madeleine Wright)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Van Gogh Lounge remains closed after a shooting over the weekend landed two people in the hospital.

The Providence Board of Licenses met Wednesday to discuss if and when the nightclub will be allowed to reopen. It was ordered temporarily closed Sunday after one man was shot in the back and a second was shot in the legs earlier that morning.

Several city police officers gave statements Wednesday, saying the incident started with a fight among women inside the club that spilled outside.

“It was chaos. There were people fighting, screaming, running trying to get cars down the street,” recalled one officer.

Investigators said a club employee who witnessed the shooting chased the alleged shooter and noted their license plates, which led to several arrests.

“This gentleman Joe Andrade is an absolute hero,” said Peter Petrarca, an attorney for Van Gogh. “But yet again, we’re in front of the board getting chastised about an unfortunate incident which some moron – which that’s exactly what it is, some moron – who thinks it’s cool to fire a gun in the middle of the street.”

Police have not identified the alleged shooter, but said the suspect will face at least six felony charges.

The 28-year-old man who was shot in the chest is still at Rhode Island Hospital, according to police, while the 32-year-old man who was shot in the legs was treated and released.

The board did not make a decision Wednesday, and continued the hearing until Thursday afternoon. Police said there is video of the shooting, which is expected to be shown on Thursday.

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