Chicago shooting: Vera Lounge shut down by city after 3 killed, 1 wounded at bar

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, December 15, 2022
Portage Park bar shooting suspect accused of killing 3, critically injuring 1 held without bond
The suspect is already a convicted felon, released on parole in September after serving time for a 2009 home invasion in which two people were killed.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Portage Park bar where three people were killed in a shooting over the weekend has been shut down by the city, Chicago police said Thursday.

Chicago police said they issued a summary closure for Vera's Lounge and the business is closed until further notice.

The video in this story is from a previous report

The shooting happened Sunday at West Melrose Street and North Central Avenue at about 2:26 a.m., police said.

An altercation at a local bar spilled out onto the street and someone fired shots.

On Tuesday, police said Samuel Parsons, 32, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed kidnapping, police said

Police said Parsons-Salas was at Vera Lounge for Mariah Vera's birthday party, the lounge owner's niece, when he was asked to leave. Police said he shot the four victims at point-blank range.

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Vera's father, 50-year-old Ricky Vera was killed, as were 24-year-old Mercedes Tavares and 26-year-old Mario Pozuelos.

Mariah Vera was shot in the head, was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition, police said.

SEE MORE: Chicago shooting: 3 killed after fight at bar ID'd, 4th person critically injured

Parsons-Salas is already a convicted felon, released on parole in September after serving time for a 2009 home invasion in Albany Park in which two people were also shot dead.

Parsons-Salas was initially charged with murder in that case, but pleaded guilty to two counts of home invasion.

Five years later, then-23-year-old Parsons-Salas was charged with first degree murder, along with another man. But those counts against him were later dropped after he agreed to plead guilty to home invasion charges, which carried an eight-year sentence.

Three months ago, Parsons-Salas was released on parole.

The Cook County State's Attorney said in a statement Thursday, "As in all cases, this matter was litigated based on the facts, evidence, and the law. After a thorough review of the case, including the defendant's role for the crime that occurred in 2010, we concluded that the evidence did not meet the burden of proof to move forward with the murder charges for Samuel Salas. On September 19, 2018, Salas pled guilty to the felony charge of Home Invasion and was sentenced to 8 years in prison after the court accepted the defendant's plea as a resolution to this case. The Cook County State's Attorney's Office is committed to the work of justice and will continue to support those impacted by crime in our communities."