Two people have been murdered and 16 have been wounded in a mass shooting at a Florida night club. The gunman opened fire in the parking lot hitting children as young as 12 outside Club Blu Bar and Grill, in Fort Myers in Florida, shortly after 12:30am.
It comes just six weeks after 49 people were murdered while partying in Orlando, when a gunman opened fire inside Pulse – a local gay night club – on June 12.
The shooting in June, carried out by Omar Mateen, was the worst gun massacre in U.S. history.
It sparked fresh debate on gun control, with President Barack Obama saying at the time: ‘We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.’
Witnesses described the scene at Monday’s shooting as that of a ‘mad house’.
Four people are described as being in a critical condition in hospital including a 12-year-old child.
The victims are aged between 12 and 27 according to hospital sources.
The shooting happened outside the club that was hosting a ‘Swimsuit Glow Party’.
Lieutenant Jim Mulligan of Lee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed as many as 17 people had been shot.
The area was later deemed safe, but Captain Mulligan said a street was still closed as authorities investigated.
Authorities said the Fort Myers police and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office were canvassing the area looking for other persons who may be involved in the incident.
The names of the victims were not immediately available.
Syreeta Gary’s daughter survived the attack. Speaking on a Twitter video, she said: ‘Well, I just thank God that my daughter is okay. She could have been shot. She was dodging bullets and dropping between cars.
‘It is ridiculous that kids have to go through this and they cannot enjoy themselves because you have people with criminalistic minds who want to terrorize people.
‘I’m just glad that she’s okay.
‘She was running away from bullets so she wouldn’t get shot. Her friend got shot in the leg.
They were running for safety. Police said another person was wounded five blocks from the nightclub where the gunman opened fire on a house and a car before fleeing.
The gunman was arrested at a third location. Witnesses reported hearing at least 30 rounds being fired during the incident. Timothy Settles wrote on Facebook that he did not want to die.
Source: Michael baisden