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A shooting at the Lavish Lounge nightclub in Greenville, South Carolina early Sunday morning left two people dead and eight injured.
Just before 2 a.m. two sheriff’s deputies saw a large crowd running out of the nightclub, said Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis at a news conference.
The deputies called for backup upon hearing “active gunfire from inside the building,” according to an initial statement made by county sheriff spokesperson, Lt. Jimmy Bolt.
Following this, authorities entered the club to provide medical aid to the victims, finding that some were already being transported to the hospital in private vehicles.
At present, authorities remain uncertain of any motive and have not taken any suspects into custody.
During his news conference, Lewis said that law enforcement is searching for two or possibly more suspects involved in the shooting based on video it received of two shooters from inside the venue. He added that the shooters fled the scene in different cars.
“There’s a lot of shell casings inside. Everything is turned over. There are a few chairs in there, food on the floor, some bottles busted. You can tell somebody left in a hurry. There are some pretty large amounts of blood,” Lewis said.
However, authorities did not have any names or descriptions of the suspect.
“We don’t really have a person of interest that we can name,” Lewis said, adding that the incident was “probably gang related.”
Of the eight victims being treated at Greenville’s Prisma Health Hospital, Bolt reported that some had suffered nonlife threatening injuries while others remain in critical condition. Prisma Health spokesperson Tammie Epps said she did not know how many were in the latter group.
Lewis stated that a “very, very, very large crowd” was gathered at the nightclub for “some type of concert.” A Facebook post by the nightclub advertised a July 4 performance by the trap rapper Foogiano.
A bookings representative for the club told The Associated Press (AP) that Foogiano and his team were safe.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster hasn’t lifted restrictions on gatherings of more than 50 people owing to a rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state. This means that the Saturday night gathering could have been held in violation of these orders as the number of patrons in the club remains unclear.
In the news conference Lewis stated that law enforcement does not know if the club had sought an exemption to the order to hold any July 4 celebrations, adding that it was clear the crowd was not practicing social distancing.
“It’s certainly not the best situation to stop the spread of this virus.”
As per McMaster’s orders pertaining to nightclubs, the venue could face criminal charges if any COVID-19 cases are traced back to the event.
Early Sunday morning the club posted on its Facebook page that all future events “have been postponed until further notice.”
On Saturday, three other shootings took place in Greenville. According to the Sheriff’s office, a Saturday morning shooting at Dolce Club, which is near Lavish Lounge, left a security guard injured.
Investigating officers are searching for a possible link between the two shootings.
The other two shootings took place in Haywood mall and in the Gantt neighborhood of southern Greenville.
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