Info on the gunman is spars and officials are saying they ‘do not yet have a motive’ for the shooting. Teens as young as 14 were targeted in the attack.
A high school basketball star and a 14-year-old boy have been murdered and 16 more have been wounded in a mass shooting outside a Florida nightclub.
The gunman opened fire in the parking lot hitting children as young as 12 outside Club Blu Bar and Grill, in Fort Myers in Florida, during a teen disco night shortly after 12:30am.
The two people who were killed are 18-year-old Stef’an Strawder, who attended the party, and 14-year-old Sean Archilles, who was standing on a street corner near the club when the gunman started shooting.
Family members said Strawder died after he was shot in the stomach, according to NBC2.
Just hours earlier he had postd on social media, asking friends if they were going to the nightclub.
‘I’m Thinking About Going To This Party Who All Going?’ the 18-year-old basketball star at Lehigh Senior High School wrote.
Social media has been flooded with tributes to Strawder from family and friends since news of his death spread.
Strawder’s mother said his 19-year-old sister, Sharrelle, was shot in the leg while at the nightclub, according to News Press.
The other victim was 14-year-old Sean Archilles, who had been standing on a corner near the nightclub when the shooting took place, News Press reported.
Sean’s father, Jean Robert Archilles was photographed outside the nightclub on Monday morning while he was being told by a Fort Myers victims advocate that his son had been killed.
Mr Archilles was leaning forward and had his head resting on his arm, and appeared to be holding back tears as he learnt the news.
Emma Decimus, Sean’s aunt, said witnesses told her that her 14-year-old nephew was one of those who had been murdered.
‘They saw him on the ground,’ Decimus said.
Another relative, Adline Azemard, said she was told by family member of the news, News Press reports.
‘My cousin called and said Sean is dead,’ Azemard said. ‘They should have had security.’
At least three people are in custody after the shooting, Fort Myers Police Department Capt. Jim Mulligan said, according to WINK News.
Fort Myers mayor Randy Henderson told a council meeting the weapons used in the shooting had been recovered.
It comes just six weeks after 49 people were murdered and 53 wounded while partying in Orlando, when a gunman opened fire inside Pulse – a local gay nightclub – on June 12.
The shooting in June, carried out by Omar Mateen, was the worst gun massacre in U.S. history.
It sparked fresh debate on gun control, with President Barack Obama saying at the time: ‘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.’
Hospital officials say four people remain hospitalized after the shooting.
Lisa Sgarlata, chief administrative officer for Lee Memorial Health System, says two people are in critical condition, and two are in fair condition. Officials said earlier that the others wounded were treated and released Monday morning.
Dr Andrew Mikulaschek told the press conference that the hospital operates a massive transfusion protocol, whereby doctors will use massive amounts of blood to save someone’s life.
‘This can work well in some case but it also depletes our stock,’ he said.
Sgarlata appealed for blood donations for the hospital and directed potential donors to the hospital’s website for more details.
The victims are aged between 12 and 27 according to hospital sources.
Fort Myers interim police chief Dennis Eads said the shooting does not appear to be linked to terrorism, according to WINK News.
Witnesses described the scene at Monday’s shooting as that of a ‘mad house’.
The father of one of the boy’s who was injured in the shooting said his son was ‘grazed’ but made it home.