Skating rink to close after shooting

December 28, 2008 7:52:38 PM PST
Authorities are continuing to interview witnesses to a Christmas night shooting that left a 16-year-old Elizabeth boy dead. Speaking outside the D'Haiti home in Elizabeth, France Tucker stood with community activists.

Two days ago, her cousin 16-year old Jean D'Haiti, was shot and killed outside skate 22. Since then, a group has demanded union township close the skating rink.

On Sunday, the Union Township Committee agreed, voting 5-0 to revoke the skating rink's entertainment license, which was due to expire on Wednesday.

Township attorney Daniel Antonelli said the rink's owner, Phillip Walker, could appeal the committee's decision in state Superior Court. Walker, though, said Sunday that he has not decided whether to take such action.

"The business is not really a main concern of mine at this point right now," he said. "I'm more concerned about the young man who died and his family. We are so sad."

Skate 22's been in business almost 22 years, but today committee members pointed to problems over the last 8 years.

Police have been called for disorderly conduct and crowd control issues. The night Jean D'Haiti was killed, nearly 700 teens gathered there.

However, no arrests have been made in the slaying at the Skate 22 rink in Union that claimed the life of D'Haiti.

John Holl, a spokesman for the county Prosecutor's Office, said Sunday that investigators already have interviewed hundreds of people who attended the private party. And he urged others who were there to come forward.

Holl said D'Haiti was the only person injured in the incident, and said there was no evidence that the gunman fired more shots after killing him.


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