Shooting Outside Arizona Club Leaves 14 Wounded

Macomb Daily, March 4, 2012

Hundreds of concert-goers waiting outside an Arizona nightclub for a hip-hop show fled in panic as shooting erupted involving three gunmen, leaving at least 14 people wounded. Police arrested one suspect and were hunting two others.

“People were running in all different directions, and some people were trying to force their way into the bar to get away,” police spokesman Lt. Mike Horn said. “It was incredibly chaotic, and understandably so. Again, we’re just fortunate that no one was killed.”

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Witness Paul Butler was among the crowd lined up to get into the club to hear Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle perform. Butler told KTVK-TV that he heard a series of pops as the gunfire erupted.

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The man in custody is one of three who opened fire at one another after they began arguing as a crowd of at least 250 people lined up at The Clubhouse Music Venue, Horn said. {snip}

Horn said all three men are believed to be affiliated with Phoenix-area gangs. He asked for the public’s help in identifying the two still at large.

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Hussle never took the stage for the midnight show but tweeted after the shooting: “Az  . . . . y’all gotta be cool man. This . . . ain’t rite.”

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There have been problems at the club in the past, Horn said, including a 2007 fatal shooting that remains unsolved. Police worked with the club owner then after learning he was turning over his business to promoters for events, believing the owner was absolving himself of responsibility for anything that happened, Horn said. Police followed up with the owner about a year and a half ago, to make sure he was providing adequate security.

That may not have been in place late Friday, Horn said. Some witnesses told police that some people in line refused to be searched for weapons.

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