Two people were killed and eight others injured in a nightclub shooting in Greenville, South Carolina, during a musical performance early Sunday.
Deputies who had been patrolling in the area rushed into Club Lavish after hearing shots fired and began evacuating people. Authorities have suspect information but did not identify a person of interest, Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said.
The sheriff said two deputies were leaving a call when they saw a crowd run from the venue at about 1:50 a.m.
“So they float down and stop and look, they kind of see what was going on and that’s when they heard multiple gunshots,” Lewis said. “And they parked here in front of the club and ran inside … trying to stop that threat.”
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Victims were taken to nearby hospitals by emergency medical services as other agencies came to assist.
Though authorities initially said 12 people were shot, there were 10 victims of the shooting, Lt. Jimmy Bolt from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office told NBC News. Bolt blamed confusion in the immediate aftermath of the incident for the miscount. Two were pronounced dead at the hospital, and eight were wounded, their conditions ranging from non-life threatening to critical.
Bolt confirmed to NBC New that investigators are looking to identify two potential suspects in the shooting.
Lewis said the incident could potentially be gang related, though he did not give a reason why he believed that to be the case. The department later said it did not want to speculate on a possible motive.
“It’s a very active thing inside the club,” Lewis said. “There’s a small stage where some artists for a group was performing. Everything’s turned over, there’s a few chairs in there, food on the floor … . You can tell somebody’s left in a hurry.”
Lewis said he was unsure why the club was open at all given the state’s current coronavirus restrictions. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has allowed a number of businesses to reopen, but entertainment venues such as nightclubs and theaters were not among them.
“We don’t know if they filed an appeal to do that or not about the governor’s order,” Lewis said. “I do know they were serving alcohol in there and those kind of things. I don’t know how many people. I know there was a very, very, very large crowd… with very little space in there for any type of social distancing.”
Authorities are in contact with the governor’s office to check whether Club Lavish filed for an appeal to the state’s order.
Coronavirus is on the uptick in South Carolina, with the state reporting more than 1,800 new cases on Saturday. South Carolina has had a total of 43,386 cases, according to NBC News tracking data.