Two people have been murdered and 16 have been wounded in a mass shooting at a Florida night club.
The gunman opened fire in the parking lot hitting people as young as 12 outside Club Blu Bar and Grill, in Fort Myers in Florida.
The shooting took place at Club Blu in Fort Myers, Florida shortly after 12.30am at a teenage disco
Two people have been confirmed dead and approximately 16 people have been wounded in the shooting
Timothy Settles broadcast on Facebook from his hospital bed and said he did not want to die after the shooting
Witnesses said the scene was that of a ‘mad house’.
Four people are described as being in a critical condition in hospital including a 12-year-old child.
The victims are aged between 12 and 27 according to hospital sources.
The shooting happened outside the club which was hosting a ‘Swimsuit Glow Party’.
Lieutenant Jim Mulligan of Lee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed as many as 17 people had been shot.
The area was later deemed safe, but Captain Mulligan said a street was still closed as authorities investigated.
Authorities said the Fort Myers police and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office were canvassing the area looking for other persons who may be involved in the incident.
The names of the victims were not immediately available.
Syreeta Gary’s daughter survived the attack. Speaking on a Twitter video, she said: ‘Well, I just thank God that my daughter is okay. She could have been shot. She was dodging bullets and dropping between cars.
‘It is ridiculous that kids have to go through this and they cannot enjoy themselves because you have people with criminalistic minds who want to terrorize people.
‘I’m just glad that she’s okay.
‘She was running away from bullets so she wouldn’t get shot. Her friend got shot in the leg.
‘They were running for safety.’
Police said another person was wounded five blocks from the nightclub where the gunman opened fire on a house and a car before fleeing.
The gunman was arrested at a third location.
Witnesses reported hearing at least 30 rounds being fired during the incident.
Timothy Settles wrote on Facebook that he did not want to die.
Three people had been detained for questioning, the police said, and the area was ‘deemed safe’ although roads in the vicinity were closed as the investigation continues.
Local television reported that the club was hosting a ‘teen night’.
The shooting comes six weeks after a massacre at a nightclub in the Florida city of Orlando, in which a lone gunman killed 49 people in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
Speaking to ABC News, Tatianna Nouhaioi said: ‘The kid I was holding in my lap, he was 14 years old that got shot.
‘And then there was a little girl who also got shot and she was 13. One of the security guard’s daughters got shot, so I mean there was kids 13, 14, 15, 16. It was a young kids event.’
The club released a statement on its Facebook page stating the incident happened at closing time when the young people were leaving.
According to the statement: ‘We are deeply sorry for all involved. We tried to give the teens WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A SAFE PLACE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME.
‘Ages 12-17. There was armed security as well as full security,inside and out. As the club was closing and parents were picking their children up…..that’s when all this took place.
‘There was nothing more we could of done az you see it was not kids at the party that did this despicable act.’
The Fort Myers Police Department reported that while two individuals were fatally shot, ‘at least 14-16’ more sustained minor to life-threatening wounds during the episode, which occurred at approximately 12:30 am in the club’s parking lot.
A nearby home on Parkway Street and vehicles were also shot at, resulting in one minor injury, the department said in a statement.
A spokesman said: ‘At this time the scene is still very active as investigators and crime scene personnel attempt to determine what had occurred.’
Officers are ‘actively canvassing the area looking for other persons who may be involved in this incident’, although the area had been deemed safe.
This is the second time in two months that there has been a fatal shooting at a Florida nightclub. On June 12, Omar Mateen murdered 49 people in the worst gun massacre in recent US history.
President Barack Obama has recently condemned the spate of gun murders in the United States and the failure of Congress to act on the issue.
He said: ‘We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs. We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.’
Last month, Democrats staged a virtually unprecedented 24-hour sit-in in Congress after Republicans refused to allow a vote on two widely supported measures.
Police do not yet have a motive for the fatal shooting.