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Their Certificate of Occupancy was revoked and "they are no longer permitted to operate or do business at 1783 Hooper Ave."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.
Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Beautiful sunflower fields to visit in NJ 2022
Among reasons why the “Garden State” remains a fitting nickname for New Jersey — late summer means the arrival of sunflower season.
There are at least six fields, spanning the state. Some are in bloom as of early August, while others are planned to peak from late August to late September.
Calling or emailing before heading out is always advisable if weather appears to be an issue.
See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State
These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey
A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.
From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.
Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.
If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.
Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.
You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.
Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.
Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.
I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:
Every NJ pizza joint Barstool's Dave Portnoy has reviewed
Dave Portnoy, commonly known as El Presidente, is the founder of Barstool Sports. Somewhere along the way, he decided to start reviewing local pizzerias, and the concept took off. Here is every New Jersey pizzeria Dave has stopped in, along with the score he gave them.