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South Carolina

Two killed and eight wounded in shooting at US nightclub

The shooting took place in South Carolina.

LAST UPDATE | 5 Jul 2020

TWO PEOPLE WERE killed and eight wounded in a shooting at a US nightclub, a sheriff’s official said.

Two Greenville County sheriff’s deputies noticed a disturbance at Lavish Lounge just before 2am, and saw a large crowd running out of the building, Sheriff Hobart Lewis said at a press conference in the US state of South Carolina.

There was “active gunfire from inside the building”, Lieutenant Jimmy Bolt said in an initial statement, and Lewis said all the shots were fired inside.

Both Lewis and Bolt initially said 12 people had been wounded, with at least four in critical condition, Lewis said, but Bolt later told WYFF-TV that the casualty figure had been revised.

No one was immediately taken into custody.

The sheriff’s office had “some suspect information”, Lewis said, but was not sure if there were multiple gunmen.

“We don’t really have a person of interest that we can name,” Lewis said, later adding that authorities were not sure what led to the gunfire.

The names and precise conditions of the victims were not immediately released.

Lewis said the victims were taken to the Prisma Health hospital in Greenville, some via private vehicle.

Prisma Health spokesperson Tammie Epps could not immediately comment when reached via telephone.

Lewis said a “very large crowd” was at the nightclub for “some type of concert”.

A post on Lavish Lounge’s Facebook page advertised a 4 July performance by trap rapper Foogiano.

A bookings representative said that Foogiano was fine and his team was safe.

The nightclub is about five miles southwest of central Greenville, in South Carolina.

Coronavirus cases in South Carolina have risen swiftly and the state’s rate of positive tests is three times the recommended level.

In late June, Greenville, which has experienced some of the state’s highest Covid-19 rates, became the first city to mandate face coverings in South Carolina, where Governor Henry McMaster has refused to implement a statewide mask requirement.

McMaster reminded South Carolinians last week that he had not lifted restrictions on large crowds, and that those operating nightclubs illegally or holding concerts against his orders do not have to be caught in the act to face criminal charges, but instead could be charged weeks later if Covid-19 cases are traced back.

Lewis said at the press conference that he did not know whether the club had sought an exemption to the governor’s order or secured a permit for Saturday night’s event, but said it was clear that the club’s patrons were not two metres apart.

“It’s certainly not the best situation to stop the spread of this virus,” the sheriff said.

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