28 People Were Wounded After A Mass Shooting In An Arkansas Nightclub
A shooter opened fire in the Power Ultra Lounge nightclub in Little Rock in the early hours of Saturday morning. Some of the injured were trampled while trying to escape the club.
Twenty-eight people were wounded in the early hours of Saturday morning after a gunman opened fire in a nightclub in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Little Rock Police Department said that the shooting did not appear to be terror-related, but was rather the result of a dispute at a concert.
Police added that 25 people suffered gunshot wounds and three had other injuries. Two of the victims are in critical condition, but all of the victims are expected to survive.
No-one has been arrested, and there are no suspects at this stage, Little Rock Chief of Police Kenton Buckner said at a press conference on Saturday afternoon.
The shooting unfolded at around 2:30 a.m. at the Power Ultra Lounge nightclub after "some sort of dispute ensued in the audience during event," said Chief Buckner.
Off-duty officers working the parking lot during the event saw some members with the headline performer, rapper Finese 2 Tymes, enter the venue from a second entrance with a weapon after police tried to stop them at the main entrance.
Buckner estimates about 20 to 40 shots were fired inside of the venue as a dispute erupted between two groups in the audience, but it is still not confirmed who fired the weapons.
A number of people were injured after being trampled while they attempted to exit the building, while a couple were hurt when they jumped out of windows in the two-story building.
The oldest victim is 35-years-old and youngest victim is 16, Buckner added. All victims are African-American.
Buckner said the shooting may be related to ongoing violence in Little Rock related to rival groups in the area. But he emphasized the importance of not conflating rap music with violence.
"I don’t want to broad brush that genre of music," he said. "I don’t want anyone to broad brush or anything because most of the people in there had nothing to do with the conflict they just happened to be true victims of stupidity."
The event taking place was a concert by rapper Finese 2 Tymes, according to the venue's Facebook event page.
"Prayers go to the innocent people and there family that came out to support me, last night in Little Rock Ark.," the rapper wrote in a Facebook post. "The violence is not for the club people. We all come with 1 motive at the end of the day, and that's to have fun."
Reporters for local ABC affiliate KATV shared video purporting to be cellphone footage of the shooting as it unfolded. BuzzFeed News has not independently verified the footage. (WARNING: Disturbing footage)
The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration suspended the lounge's liquor permit on Saturday.
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola told reporters the lounge would be shut down and that the operators would be evicted. He also said he would work with state agencies to crack down on people on parole and probation who carry weapons.
"We got to take these repeat gun offenders off the streets," he said. "We believe this is a small group of repeat offenders bent on violent crime."
By Saturday night, the night club had been officially evicted by its landlord, according to the Associated Press. A representative for the landlord posted the eviction notice on the door of the club late Saturday, notifying the owners that they must vacate the property within three days "due to your failure to maintain the premises in a safe condition."
In a statement Saturday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he and his wife were praying for the recovery of the victims. He also pointed to what seemed to be a rash of violent incidents in Little Rock, and said the state would be providing resources to the city to address the increase in violence.
"Little Rock's crime problem appears to be intensifying," Hutchinson said in the statement. "Every few days it seems a high profile shooting dominates the news, culminating with this morning's events."
The incident comes amid a wave of violence in Little Rock. Police in the city have responded to a dozen drive-by shootings in the city in the last nine days, according to the Associated Press.
"We are still gathering facts, but it is clear that we need to have a comprehensive enforcement strategy in place that helps take the violent threats off the streets," Hutchinson said in the statement. "The state will participate and bring assets to the table to support local law enforcement efforts."