Fort Myers police say the shooting at a nightclub that left two dead was not an act of terrorism, the Associated Press reports.
The shooting, which took place early Monday morning at Club Blu in Fort Myers, Florida, left two people dead and as many as 16 victims injured. A suspect, or suspects, opened fire in the parking lot, CNN reports, just after midnight at the Florida nightclub, which was hosting an all-ages “Swimsuit Glow Party.”
Police are still trying to determine the motive for the attack, which seems aimed at teenagers.
— Phil Buck (@Phil_Buck) July 25, 2016
“At this time the scene is still very active as investigators and crime scene personnel attempt to determine what had occurred,” the Fort Myers Police Department wrote in a news release, adding it was “attempting to determine a motive for this incident.”
But at 7:30 a.m. EDT, Fox News Heather Nauert reported that law enforcement had at least eliminated one possible motive, stating that the shooting at the nightclub, during an event marketed towards 12-to-17-year-old kids, was “definitely not terrorism.”
Fort Myers police also identified the two victims who were killed in the tragic nightclub shooting. Shawn Achilles, 14, and Ste’fan Strawder, 18, were both killed by the unidentified shooter or shooters.
— The News-Press (@TheNewsPress) July 25, 2016
Here is what is known about some of the other victims who were shot and injured during the mass shooting incident, WINK-TV reports.
Victims as young as 12 and as old as 27 were taken to Lee Memorial Hospital.
- 16 people were treated in the trauma center and emergency department.
- One person died at the hospital. The other died at the scene.
- Two are in the intensive care unit – one in serious condition and the other in critical condition.
- One person is in fair condition.
- One person was taken to Cape Coral Hospital.
- The other victims were treated and released.
Witnesses described the scene at the club during and after the shooting as a “madhouse.”
“It was a madhouse people were running every where. All people were saying was their friends’ names to see if they’re okay — a lot of phone calls to parents,” said one witness to local Fort Myers news affiliate WINK-TV. “But it was one of the scariest sights to just see people come pouring out like that.”
Another witness, who lives about two blocks from Club Blu, reported that she heard around 30 gunshots from what she believes must have been multiple guns.
Club Blu issued a statement via the company’s social media account earlier today.
“We are deeply sorry for all involved. We tried to give the teens WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A SAFE PLACE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. Ages 12-17. There was armed security as well as full security,inside and out. As the club was closing and parents were picking their children up…..that’s when all this took place. There was nothing more we could of done az you see it was not kids at the party that did this despicable act. Our condolences to all parties involved.”
Two suspects in the shooting were detained before 5:30 a.m., and police have confirmed that at least three people are currently in custody, CBS reports. Fort Myers mayor Randy Henderson also reports that the weapons used have been recovered.
“As this kind of activity continues to emerge across our state and the nation and indeed the world, we remain ever mindful of the fact that we’ve got to do better in protecting citizens,” Henderson said. “So you’re going to see a substantial continued effort in that regard.”
The shooting in Fort Myers comes a little over a month after the Orlando nightclub massacre, in which 49 people at a gay club were killed by a heavily-armed gunman in an hours-long standoff in what was an act of terrorism. It is, to date, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.