One person was killed and over a dozen were injured during a mass shooting overnight at a Cincinnati nightclub, with the suspect, or suspects, on the run. City authorities say they have reason to believe that more than one shooter was involved in the incident, possibly consistent with past violent events at the venue. According to local NBC affiliate station WLWT, several of the victims sustained life-threatening injuries that could change the fatality count in the hours since the attack.
The shooting began at the Cameo Nightclub in Cincinnati's East End neighborhood around 1:00 am Sunday morning, at which time the venue was still crowded with people. Few details have emerged about the scene at the time at the shooting began, partially due to reluctant eyewitnesses, according to Reuters. "At this point it's unclear exactly what instigated the shooting," Cincinnati Police Capt. Kimberly Williams said at a televised briefing, "just a lot of chaos when the shots went off."
Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate tweeted that there is no reason as of yet to suspect terrorism as a motive for the shooting. If the department's theory that more than one shooter was involved, the incident may have started as a fight in the club. According to Reuters, Neudigate told reporters that Cameo has had "multiple problems" with violence in the past, which he seemed to connect to Sunday's shooting. On New Year's Day 2015, a fistfight broke out outside Cameo, ending in gunshots and one injured man hospitalized; it's unclear what other instances Neudigate was referencing. However, Reuters reported that Neudigate said in a Twitter message that the sparse eyewitness reports had so far only identified one gunman, complicating the department's theory of the case.
VIDEO: Ohio police believe there was a very large crowd inside nightclub where a shooting killed one person. https://t.co/k1ALm66CcB— The Associated Press (@AP) March 26, 2017
According to NBC News, victims were scattered to four local area hospitals, only one of which has reported on their patients' status. Kelly Martin of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center told NBC News that four of the victims are in stable condition, three are in serious condition, and one remains in critical condition.
The manhunt will continue for the suspect or suspects who instigated the shootings, but it could be difficult to close the case without many eyewitnesses. It's unclear at this time how the shooter, or shooters, managed to escape the scene, who seemed to have run out with the crowd as the club emptied out in the early hours of the morning . The chaos of the incident could critically impede the investigation, but more details should emerge in the near future.