Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are searching for at least one suspect involved in a nightclub shooting that left 12 people injured, according to Gene McNeely, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Police are classifying the shooting as a “targeted attack”.
“This wasn’t just the random act of someone showing up and shooting indiscriminately at the citizens of Baton Rouge,” Lieutenant Brian Ballard, the BRPD’s homicide division commander, said during a news conference Sunday.
A law enforcement source told CNN at around 1:30 a.m. local time that witnesses at the Dior Bar & Lounge said a fight broke out between two groups of customers, and several people drew their weapons and started shooting.
Lieutenant Ballard said that of the 12 people who sustained gunshot wounds, three were seriously injured.
Chief Murphy J. Paul Jr. praised the immediate response of three officers outside the club at the time of the shooting, saying their response prevented other patrons inside from being injured.
Eventbrite’s online listing states that the club was hosting a “back-to-school party” for Southern University, A&M College, and Louisiana State University students at the time of the shooting.
Police spokesman McNeely said police do not yet have a motive for the shooting.
The vice president, Myron Daniels, said the investigation is being conducted in partnership with the Alcohol, Beverage and Control Agency (ABC), which oversees regulation of businesses that serve alcohol.
Daniels said ABC will investigate the “security breach” at the event, which enabled the suspect or suspect to bring weapons inside, following the event’s private security.
The investigation is ongoing, and the police are asking anyone with information to come forward.
“There are people in the inner circle of the person responsible for this, the people who were involved in this shooting – their family members, their friends – there is someone who knows something,” Chief Paul said. “Do the right thing.”