Shooting at Little Rock, Arkansas, nightclub leaves 28 injured – CBS News
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Police said 28 people were hurt in a shooting early Saturday after a dispute at a downtown Little Rock nightclub. The city’s police chief said officers suspect multiple people fired weapons but that the incident was not terror-related.
Little Rock Police said on Twitter that 25 people suffered gunshot wounds and three had unrelated injuries. Police said all were expected to survive.
The shooting occurred around 2:30 a.m. Saturday at the Power Ultra Lounge, a club in a two-story building downtown about 1 mile east of the state Capitol, during a concert by the artist Finese 2Tymes, CBS affiliate KTHV-TV reported.
Police cordoned off the block as crime-scene technicians gathered evidence from inside and outside the club. Glass from the club’s second story windows littered the ground, along with empty drink cups.
“We do NOT believe this incident was an active shooter or terror related incident. It appears to have been a dispute at a concert,” the city police posted on its Twitter account overnight.
Police said that one person who had been in critical condition was upgraded to stable.
“One is too many. Seventeen is very alarming and certainly disturbing,” Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner told reporters. He said there was “some sort of dispute broke out between people inside” the club and that there are “probably multiple shooting suspects.”
Police have not identified suspects, and no arrests have been made.
A video posted online by a club patron, Darryl Rankin, showed that a packed house for Finese 2Tymes, a performer from Memphis, Tennessee. About a half-minute into a break in the raucous concert, several bursts of gunfire rang out — more than 24 shots in an 11-second period.
Rankin told The Associated Press that he was recording the show on Facebook Live when gunfire erupted. He said that one of his friends is now at a hospital with a bullet “stuck in his spine.”
Courtney Swanigan said she was near the front of the club with her sister when gunfire erupted nearly an hour into the performance. They were not injured. She said she saw someone onstage with a handgun amid the melee.
“I just closed my eyes, got down on the ground and put my hands on my head,” she said.
Rapper Finese 2Tymes issued a statement in all capital letters on Facebook expressing his thoughts for those injured. “THE VIOLENCE IS NOT FOR THE CLUB PEOPLE. WE ALL COME WITH 1 MOTIVE AT THE END OF THE DAY, AND THATS TO HAVE FUN. NOT TO BE HURT.”
The shooting follows a week in which there have been about a dozen drive-by shootings in the capital city, though there’s no indication the events are linked.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement that his thoughts are with the victims and their families.
“Little Rock’s crime problem appears to be intensifying. Every few days it seems a high profile shooting dominates the news, culminating with this morning’s event,” he said Saturday. “I have spoken this morning with Mayor Stodola and I have offered both my heart felt concern over this senseless violent tragedy and state assets as needed to address the continued threat of violence in our community.”
Early Saturday, Rada Bunch waited outside the club after she had heard from a friend that her son had been at the club and may have been shot. She had received little information about the incident.
“I’m sick of all the killing and I’m tired of all the shooting, the kids getting hurt,” Bunch said.
Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control officials suspended the club’s alcohol license hours after the shooting occurred and set a hearing for July 10.
The club’s Facebook page promoted Friday night’s show with a poster depicting a man pointing what appears to be a gun at the camera. A call to a number listed for Finese 2Tymes’ booking agent wasn’t immediately returned Saturday.
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola said on Facebook that more information would be released at a news conference Saturday afternoon.
“My heart is broken this morning — my prayers are with the victims of this tragedy,” he wrote. He went on to add, “We are committed to doing everything possible to bring safety to our city. We need everyone to help.”
In May, one person was killed and six people were hurt in a mass shooting at a downtown concert in Jonesboro, Arkansas, about 115 miles northeast of Little Rock. In that case, two men were charged with first-degree murder and six counts of first-degree battery.
Arkansas lawmakers earlier this year approved a measure expanding where concealed handguns can be carried, including bars if allowed by owners, for licensees who undergo additional training. The law takes effect in September, but the training likely won’t be available until early next year.