CLEVELAND, AP — An early morning shooting at a downtown Cleveland nightclub sent nine people to hospital, but no deaths were reported, authorities said.
Police said preliminary information indicated someone opened fire on a group of people in the warehouse district shortly before 2:30 a.m. Sunday, as clubs closed. The suspect apparently fled.
Cleveland Police Department Chief Wayne Drummond said seven men and two women between the ages of 23 and 38 were struck. One of the men was seriously injured while the injuries of the others were minor, he said.
Officers assigned to the district’s weekly retail arrived quickly to assist the victims, after which they were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center. A suspect was wanted and investigators were looking for surveillance video from numerous cameras in the area.
Police said there was no indication that a confrontation at any of the area clubs preceded the shootings.
No arrests were immediately reported. Police have asked anyone with information about the shooting to contact them.
Mayor Justin Bibb called it a “tragic and sad day” that “really shows the huge gun problem that we have, not just in Cleveland, not just in Ohio, but across the country.” . Bibb called on state and national lawmakers to give municipal leaders more tools to crack down on gun proliferation.
“I’m sick of getting these calls late at night,” he said. “I’m sick of hearing our residents and victims of gun violence, and Republicans blaming us as mayors for violent crimes. We need their help.
Officials said a large police presence was present in the district each weekend, and officers and first responders responded immediately, as did the sheriff’s department.
The shooter fired into the crowd despite the visible presence of police, Drummond said, adding that even “2,000 more police” would not have stopped what happened. He called for a “holistic” approach including “economic development, prevention, intervention, opportunity” to help change things.