A shooting at a South Carolina nightclub left 12 people in “various conditions” early Sunday, a sheriff’s official said.
A Greenville County sheriff’s deputy noticed a “disturbance” at Lavish Lounge just before 2 a.m., while headed to an unrelated call, Lt. Jimmy Bolt said in a statement.
About 200 people were in the club at the time of the shooting, he said.
The deputy called for backup and the authorities entered the club to find several gunshot victims. It was unclear whether shots were still being fired as the authorities entered the building, the lieutenant said.
The nightclub had advertised on its Instagram account a Saturday night concert featuring a rapper, Foogiano.
The rapper and representatives for the Lavish Lounge were not immediately available for comment on Sunday morning.
Those killed were identified as Clarence S. Johnson, 56, of Duncan, S.C., and Mykala Bell, 23, of Greenville. Both died at Greenville Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds, the Greenville County Coroner’s Office said.
Responding officials took victims inside the lounge to the hospital, while others were taken via private vehicles.
It’s unclear whether anyone was in custody in relation to the shooting.
The names and precise conditions of the victims weren’t immediately released.
Further details weren’t immediately available.
A phone call and an Instagram direct message from the AP to Lavish Lounge weren’t immediately returned.
The club posted on Facebook just before 6 a.m. that events “have been postponed until further notice.”
Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, had ordered nightclubs and concert venues to remain closed because of the coronavirus and has not yet allowed them to reopen although the state lifted restrictions on retail stores, gyms and bowling alleys.
Lewis said at the press conference that he didn’t know whether the club had sought an exemption to the governor’s order or secured a permit for Saturday night’s event.
But he said it was clear that the club’s patrons weren’t 6 feet (2 meters) apart.
“It’s certainly not the best situation to stop the spread of this virus,” the sheriff said.