MIAMI – Fifteen people have been wounded in a shooting that sent terrified patrons scrambling from a Miami nightclub early Sunday, police said, adding the youngest victim is 11 years old.
When Miami police and rescue crews arrived at a club called The Spot around 1 a.m., they said they found chaos among the large throng of adults and teenagers gathered there. Rescuers found wounded people inside and outside the club, reporting some were too hurt to flee. At least one person was reported in critical condition but the extent of the other injuries wasn’t immediately known.
Some people were running, “people were screaming, people were saying they were shot,” Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll told The Associated Press.
One male was found unresponsive and not breathing when emergency responders arrived. Five girls between 11 and 17 years old also suffered gunshot wounds, Carroll said.
Details were sparse in the hours after the shooting as investigators were seeking to piece together what happened.
“The investigators are still interviewing witnesses. They’re going from hospital to hospital,” police spokeswoman Frederica Burden told AP.
She said it was not immediately clear who or how many fired weapons and what prompted the gunfire.
“What was very surprising to the responders was that these were kids that were out at 1 o’clock in the morning in a club and this type of violence took place where a bunch of kids were gathering … it’s very disturbing to see that,” Carroll said.
At least three of those hurt were transferred to a pediatric unit.
A spokeswoman for Jackson Memorial Hospital said she did not have permission from the victims to release their conditions.
Authorities said they are investigating what type of club The Spot is and why so many underage children were there.
“Was it a private party, was it open to the public, that’s what we’re trying to figure out,” said Officer Burden.
Fire Rescue officials will also follow up with the venue to determine whether it’s a teen club, whether it’s licensed as a club for regular gatherings or whether this was an informal event, Carroll said.
A phone number for the club was out of service.