Victim ID'd after deadly stabbing at City Winery in West Loop, coworker charged with murder: CPD

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team and Stephanie Wade WLS logo
Friday, May 24, 2024
Victim ID'd, coworker charged in deadly stabbing at City Winery
City Winery employee Francois Reed-Swain was killed in a West Loop, Chicago stabbing. His coworker Clarence Johnson was charged with murder Thursday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- City Winery on Randolph remains closed Thursday as the company says it's offering counseling for their team, following Wednesday's traumatic event.

An employee at City Winery in West Loop fatally stabbed another employee, Chicago fire officials told ABC7.

The 47-year-old victim has been identified as Francois H. Reed-Swain by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

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He was stabbed repeatedly in the back and chest by a 41-year-old coworker, police said.

The suspect, 41-year-old Clarence Johnson of Bellwood, was charged with first-degree murder Thursday, Chicago police said.

The concert venue turned crime scene was open at the time, just hours away from hosting a local performer.

"Thank you for your understanding," City Winery CEO Michael Dorf said. "[We are ] offering counseling to our team given this traumatic event."

Dorf added that the company is bringing senior staff from New York to support the Chicago location.

"This tragic episode of violence is so unnecessary in this messed up world, especially in a place where we try and foster joy with music, food and good people. Our thoughts remain with team member's family who died," he said.

"When any business has an incident like this that's so dramatic and so sad and so tragic, sometimes there will be public repercussions," said Roger Romanelli with the Fulton Market Association.

Romanelli hopes the stabbing doesn't deter customers from coming to the venue, acknowledging restaurants can be tense work places.

"We know that restaurant facilities and food service facilities are high stress environments," Romanelli said. "They really could benefit from more human resources training, and maybe the city helping to cost share some of those training resources."

The stabbing follows other crimes of workplace violence this week.

Earlier Wednesday morning, a domestic dispute led to a nearly two-hour long standoff at a Portillo's in Elmhurst. A man attacked a woman, who was part of his cleaning crew, with two large knives inside the closed restaurant.

Last Friday, Eataly in River North was temporarily closed, after a gun discharged during a fight between employees.

City Winery announced the venue will reopen on Friday for Boney James' sold-out shows.

Police continue to investigate the stabbing

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