PD: 14 hurt after shooting at Tempe club, 2 suspects loose

TEMPE, AZ - Tempe police are looking for two of three men suspected of shooting 14 people outside a club Friday night.

Police said an officer responding to the shooting scene stopped a vehicle leaving the area and ultimately took one male subject into custody.

Lt. Mike Horn said the suspect faces 13 counts of aggravated assault and one count of assisting a criminal street gang. He said additional charges are likely.

Police did not release the name of the suspect citing concern it would hinder their investigation.

Shortly before midnight Friday, rap artist Nipsey Hussle was expected to take the stage at The Clubhouse near Broadway Road and Dorsey Lane.

Close to 300 people were lined up outside the club, when two groups started an argument which turned into gun fire, investigators said.

"When I heard the shots…first shot everybody hit the ground," said a girl who was working the door but wouldn't disclose her name to ABC15.

"I couldn't even move. I was so stunned that that was happening," she said. "Everybody was running, crawling, somebody almost got trampled from the people running in."

"I've never seen anything like that before," she added.

"We are very fortunate that nobody was killed last night," Lt. Horn said.

Two of the shooting victims are in serious condition, according to police. They say none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.

Horn thinks someone knows where the two suspects are hiding and his investigators are hoping a tip will help police find them.

"Without the public's help, these two people, the next time, may kill somebody," Horn said.

Police say they are certain this was gang-related.

Horn said Hussle was supposed to perform in Tucson Thursday, but didn't show up.

That night, gun fire was reported at the venue, but no one was hurt, he said.

"This is obviously very concerning to us on a lot of different levels and we want to do everything we can to catch these guys," Horn said.

Investigators are looking at whether The Clubhouse followed a safety plan they put in place after a man was gunned down and killed in 2007.

The plan mandates the club have two security guards for every hundred patrons. They're also expected to pat down patrons.

Horn said they got reports some patrons refused to be patted down Friday night.

The club published a statement that read in part:

We strive to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for every genre of music. Last night we provided the same service we have for the last seven years. Although we have had some minor issues in the past like other venues face. We comply with not only Arizona liquor board but also with the Tempe Police department. We administer full pat downs as well as dress codes depending on the nature of the show. However this incident occurred outside of the venue with individuals that had yet to be allowed into our establishment.

Nispey Hussle also issued a statement regarding Friday night's events:

My deepest thoughts and sympathies go out to the victims and their families who were affected by the tragic event that took place last night in Arizona, and I pray for the speedy recovery for anyone involved.
Contrary to current media reports, it's important note that these shootings did NOT happen inside a venue, concert, or show in which I was booked to perform, and at the time of the incident, I was in my hotel room.
I grew up on the streets of south central Los Angeles and have witnessed many tragedies in my lifetime. I never glorify any situation like this and think it is disgusting. Any fan of my music knows that I strongly oppose gun violence, and that I represent nothing but peace and progress through hard work… that anyone can overcome adversity no matter what your social status in life, which is clearly addressed on my latest release, "The Marathon Continues."

Many people will wrongfully attribute this incident to the hip-hop culture, which is purely and simply false. The alleged shooters were not ticket holders for my performance. Regardless, this incident is a tragic reminder of the circumstances that face our community every day, and my heart and prayers go out to the victims of this, and all the other senseless acts of violence occurring every day in our communities.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.
 

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