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Shooting At Little Rock Nightclub Injures 28

Police investigate the aftermath of an early Saturday morning shooting at a Little Rock, Ark., nightclub, in which 17 people were injured.
Michael Hibblen
Police investigate the aftermath of an early Saturday morning shooting at a Little Rock, Ark., nightclub, in which 17 people were injured.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

A shooting in a Little Rock, Ark., nightclub has left at least 28 people injured, according to local police, who said they did not believe it was a terrorist-related attack.

Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner told KTHV that the shooting, which occurred around 2:30 a.m. Saturday at the Power Ultra Lounge, appears to have been the result of a "dispute [that] broke out between people inside."

Three people were injured in the ensuing aftermath, police told The Associated Press, and 25 people in total were shot.

Police say that one person who was hospitalized and initially listed in critical condition has been upgraded to stable. Other victims were injured trying to escape the club, police said.

Michael Hibblen, news director at member station KUAR in Little Rock, reports from the scene that the club, located on the second floor of a building, has several broken windows following the attack.

"Apparently when the shooting occurred, people started jumping out windows to escape, landing on awnings below," Hibblen says. "So, it would seem that at least some of the injuries were related to the broken glass and the falls."

The Associated Press reports that the shooting occurred as a packed house had gathered for Memphis, Tenn., performer Finese 2Tymes "about a half-minute into a break in the raucous concert."

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola said his "heart is broken" over the shooting, writing on his Facebook page "We are committed to doing everything possible to bring safety to our city."

At a news conference later, a visibly shaken Stodola reiterated the remark, adding that "we must do more to keep guns out of the hands of certain people."

He said that the incident "turned violent because of the presence of rivalries and weapons."

Stodola also decried a poster promoting the concert that featured a high-powered weapon.

Police Chief Buckner said the victims ranged in age from 16 to 35 years of age. He said all of the victims are African American. Two are in critical condition, but the others have non-life-threatening injuries. He tied the shooting to "a continuation of disputes" that had resulted in several drive-by shootings in the city in recent weeks. "We certainly think that there's a possibility of a connection with the recent shootings," he said.

Buckner said there were off-duty police officers "working the parking lot of the club," but that they had left at about 2 a.m., a half-hour before the shooting took place. However, Buckner said that those officers had intercepted at least one individual who tried to get into the club with a firearm. He said that the armed club-goer had apparently latter gotten in through another entrance.

KUAR also reports that "the club's Facebook page promoted the musical performance of Finese 2Tymes last night. It's unclear whether the shooting was provoked by the band, and fans of Finese 2Tymes are defending the group on its Facebook page."

The AP says that the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Commission suspended the club's license hours after the shooting, noting that the Power Ultra Club "has previously had its license suspended 11 times for failing to pay taxes and has been cited seven times for 14 various violations including unknowingly furnishing alcohol to minors and allowing alcohol to leave the premises since 2012, ABC Director of Enforcement Boyce Hamlet said." Mayor Stodola later added: "We will be shutting this venue down. Absolutely."

This is a breaking news story. As often happens in situations like these, some information reported earlier may turn out to be inaccurate. We'll move quickly to correct the record, and we'll only point to the best information we have at the time.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.