CINCINNATI – Several unidentified shooters opened fire at a Cincinnati nightclub early Sunday, killing one person and wounding 15 others, officials said.
The shooters escaped the melee at club Cameo and they remained on the run Sunday, reported Fox 19.
“Several local men got into some type of dispute inside the bar and it escalated into shots being fired from several individuals,” Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said during a news conference. “As a result there were 16 people that sustained gunshot injuries one of which is deceased. A total of 15 others that were injured, one in extremely critical condition.”
The deceased man was identified as Obryan Spike, 27, following notification of his family.
Assistant Fire Chief Roy Winston said many club-goers were injured trying to seek safety during the shooting.
“I’m confident that while our hearts are broken, that our spirit is not,” Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said.
The Cincinnati nightclub employed off-duty police officers to patrol the parking lot, Isaac said, and individuals entering the club were routinely patted down and subject to personal screening with a metal detecting wand. Despite the precautions, Isaac said, “Several firearms were able to be brought inside the bar.”
The motive for the shooting remained unclear, but Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate said there was no indication the attack was terrorism related. The shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m., WLWT reported.
“We are in the middle of a very horrific situation that occurred at the nightclub with multiple victims,” Neudigate said. “It’s going to be a long night for our homicide units to investigate.”
Ultimately the victims were taken to four area hospitals. Some reportedly drove themselves and others were taken by ambulance. According to WLWT, at least one of the wounded was in critical condition at a hospital.
Capt. Kim Williams said authorities were not sure what prompted the shooting.
“Saturday night, it is a very young crowd,” Williams said. “We have had incidents here in the past, but this is by far the worst.”
Several officers were working security detail at the club and performed first aid and tried to revive the person that died, according to Williams.
“The biggest problem when you have a large crowd like this and the shots ring out, a lot of the witnesses disappear,” Williams said.
Police are interviewing witnesses and seeking information from the Cincinnati nightclub patrons able to leave without providing firsthand information. Police have not released details on the shooters.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said on Twitter that he was “saddened to learn about last night’s shooting” and that he was offering the state’s assistance.
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 over, according to local news reports.