A shooting incident recently took place at a downtown nightclub in Little Rock, Arkansas early Saturday morning. Local police said 25 were shot during the incident, while three others sustained related injuries.
Little Rock Chief of Police Kenton Buckner said that victims who did not sustain gunshot injuries were trampled on as concert goers raced to exit the venue. Others were hurt after jumping out of a window to escape the commotion.
The Little Rock Police Department listed one victim as critically injured, but later confirmed that said victim is now in stable condition. The other injuries didn’t appear life-threatening and authorities are hopeful that all the victims will make a full recovery, ABC News reported. Wounded victims are now being treated in hospitals near the area.
Victims range from 16 years old to mid-20s. According to the police a dispute broke out during a concert at Power Ultra Lounge and an exchange of gunfire took place at around 2:30 a.m. CT. At the crime scene, windows on the club’s second story were shattered and empty drink cups were scattered across the ground.
Although there was no immediate information on the shooters, the police already ruled out terrorism. The police said the following on its Twitter account.
“We do NOT believe this incident was an active shooter or terror related incident. It appears to have been a dispute at a concert”
Buckner nevertheless said that the shooting is “very alarming and certainly disturbing.” He added that there are “probably multiple shooting suspects,” Time wrote.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will be assisting the Little Rock police in investigating the shooting, officials said.
A video posted online from the event showed the club packed with people as rapper Finese 2Tymes performed. Gunfire started to go out a half-minute into the concert break. More than 24 shots were fired within an 11-second timeframe.
Courtney Swanigan said she and her sister were near the front of the club when the shooting erupted. She claimed she saw someone on stage holding a handgun during the chaos. “I just closed my eyes, got down on the ground and put my hands on my head,” Swanigan recalled.
The club’s Facebook page has a poster of Finese 2Tymes’s Friday night concert, showing what appears to be a man pointing a gun at the camera.
— Mitchell McCoy (@MitchellMcCoy) July 1, 2017
Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control officials suspended Power Ultra Lounge’s alcohol license hours after the shootings occurred. A hearing has been set for July 10.
The shootings came a week after multiple drive-by shootings took place in Little Rock. However, there was no indication of any links between Saturday’s incident and the previous shootings, NBC News reported.
Meanwhile, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson sent his prayers to the victims and their families and addressed the growing crime rate in Little Rock.
“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. The state will participate and bring assets to the table to support local law enforcement efforts.”
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola took to Facebook to address the incident and call for everyone to help in restoring safety and security within the city.
“We are committed to doing everything possible to bring safety to our city. We need everyone to help.”
Earlier this year Arkansas lawmakers approved a measure requiring additional training for those carrying concealed handguns before they are permitted to carry it in public places where handguns are allowed.
Data compiled by nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive shows that the shooting incident at Power Ultra Lounge on Saturday morning is the 173rd mass shooting incident in the United States in 2017.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]