Toms River, NJ, Shuts Down Hookah Bar After Deadly Shooting
TOMS RIVER — A hookah bar that was the backdrop for a deadly shooting Saturday has been shut down by the municipality for multiple zoning, safety and code violations, Mayor Maurice Hill announced.
The early morning gunfire near Top Tier Hookah Lounge at a shopping center on Hooper Avenue left one man dead, another critically hurt and a third treated at the scene for injuries, police said.
An investigation into the shooting confirmed that the business owners were operating in violation of their approved status as a retail-only establishment and likely lied or "made misleading statements on their zoning application," according to Hill.
Their Certificate of Occupancy was revoked and "they are no longer permitted to operate or do business at 1783 Hooper Ave." in the Silverton section of town, he added.
In addition to being shut down, the business owner and property owner have been issued a fine of $4,500 and a summons to appear in Toms River Municipal Court on Sept. 12.
“This business has been under investigation by our Quality of Life Task Force due to multiple complaints,” Hill said in a written release on Monday evening.
“The Task Force found several violations and instructed the business owners to bring the establishment into compliance. Those instructions were ignored."
The task force includes representatives of the township police, fire, building, zoning and code enforcement departments.
A photo of the business released by the mayor's office shows a front window shattered following the gunshots last weekend.