Wednesday 13 December 2017

Terrorism ruled out as one dies, 15 injured in shootout at nightclub

A body is removed from the Cameo club in Cincinnati. Photo: John Minchillo/AP
A body is removed from the Cameo club in Cincinnati. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

Dan Sewell

Gunfire erupted inside a crowded Cincinnati nightclub after a dispute broke out among several men, killing one man and injuring 15 other people.

Police have yet to arrest any suspect but believe the shooting at the Cameo club was not terrorism-related. They said the nightclub has a history of gun violence.

One of the wounded is in an "extremely critical condition", according to police, while two others are critical, according to a hospital spokesman.

Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac named the dead man as 27-year-old O'Bryan Spikes.

Police began getting calls at 1.30am yesterday about gunshots at the club near the Ohio River east of downtown Cincinnati.

Mr Isaac said about 200 people were inside the club for music and dancing.

"What we know at this point in the investigation is that several local men got into some type of dispute inside the bar, and it escalated into shots being fired from several individuals," he said. It wasn't clear how many people fired shots.

He said the club has its own internal security that uses detection wands and pat-downs, but that police believe several firearms got inside.

Four police officers were working as security in the club's car park and some tried unsuccessfully to revive the man who died.

Cameo's Facebook profile said it caters to college students on Friday nights, when anyone over 18 is allowed in, while Saturdays are "grown and sexy night" for ages 21 and older.

The club has a history of gun violence, including a shooting inside the club on New Year's Day in 2015 and one in the parking lot that September.

Police Captain Kim Williams said there was "just a lot of chaos, obviously, when shots were fired".

"Saturday night, it is a very young crowd. We have had incidents here in the past, but this is by far the worst," she said.

Mayor John Cranley called the shootings "unacceptable".

A single body was removed by the coroner shortly after 6am yesterday.

Among the injured, five were treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Centre and released, hospital spokeswoman Kelly Martin said.

The area is mostly industrial but also home to several nightclubs with a smattering of homes. A regional airport is nearby.

The neighbourhood is fairly desolate at night, with the exception of the nightlife scene and 24-hour petrol stations.

The road where the club sits was cordoned off by a single police car and an officer at either end.

First responders had problems reaching the shooting victims because the car parks were full.

Ohio Governor John Kasich said on Twitter that he was "saddened to learn about the shooting" and offered the state's assistance.

Irish Independent

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