Two people are dead and eight others are injured following a shooting inside of a crowded South Carolina nightclub in the early hours of Sunday, authorities said.
A deputy and a trainee were passing Greenville’s Lavish Lounge just before 2 a.m., following an unrelated call in the area, when a commotion and the sound of gunshots caught their attention, Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said at an early morning press conference.
They heard more gunshots and called for backup before entering the club to locate the shooter. Inside, authorities found “a lot of shell casings” and blood, Lewis said.
At least two suspects remained wanted as of late Sunday morning, Lt. Jimmy Bolt with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office told HuffPost.
“We do have some suspect information but it’s not a lot at this time,” Lewis said at the earlier press conference, later adding that police suspect that the incident was gang-related.
Police initially reported that 12 people had been shot but later corrected that number to 10. Of those gunshot victims, eight suffered injuries ranging from non-life-threatening to critical, said Bolt.
It’s not clear how many people were inside of the club at the time of the shooting, though authorities said the venue appeared to have been packed with people.
“I know that there was a very, very, very large crowd,” Lewis said. “I promise you they weren’t 6 feet apart.”
The incident came as the country continues to battle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Greenville County has the highest number of suspected COVID-19 cases in the state, and the number of cases there has been rising over the past two weeks, according to the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Gov. Henry McMaster (R) has reopened most of the state’s “non-essential” businesses that were ordered closed in late March. Businesses are still being asked to promote social distancing and to limit capacity.