Greenville, S.C. (WSPA) — Greenville County deputies in South Carolina are investigating an overnight shooting that left two people dead and eight injured.
Sheriff Hobart Lewis said it happened at the Lavish Lounge on 1701 White Horse Road early Sunday morning.
Around 1:50 a.m., a deputy driving on White Horse Road observed a disturbance at the Lavish. That deputy called for emergency back-up due to active gunfire coming from inside the building.
Multiple deputies, along with Greenville City Police and Highway Patrol, responded to the scene.
Deputies located multiple gunshot victims inside the night club. All of the victims inside the night club were transported by EMS.
Sheriff Hobart Lewis said two people died at the hospital.
Of those wounded, some have non life threatening injuries, while others are in critical condition.
AP reports that no one was immediately taken into custody following the early Sunday shooting at Lavish Lounge, but a Greenville County sheriff’s spokesperson said they were looking for two suspects.
“We don’t really have a person of interest that we can name,” Lewis said at the press conference, later adding that authorities weren’t sure what led to the gunfire.
Lewis said a “very large crowd” was at the nightclub for “some type of concert.” A post on Lavish Lounge’s Facebook page advertised a July 4 performance by trap rapper Foogiano. An Instagram direct message from the AP wasn’t immediately returned, but a bookings representative told the AP via text message that Foogiano was fine and his team was safe.
Coronavirus cases in South Carolina have risen swiftly and the state’s rate of positive tests is three times the recommended level. In late June, the Upstate city of Greenville — which has experienced some of the state’s highest COVID-19 rates — became the first city to mandate face coverings in South Carolina, where Gov. Henry McMaster has refused to implement a statewide mask requirement.
McMaster reminded South Carolinians last week that he hadn’t lifted restrictions on large crowds, and that those operating nightclubs illegally or holding concerts against his orders don’t have to be caught in the act to face criminal charges, but instead could be charged weeks later if COVID-19 cases are traced back.
Under restrictions imposed by McMaster in March to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, gatherings of 50 or more people in a single room are off-limits. It was not immediately clear how many people were in the club at the time of the shooting.
Lewis said at the press conference that he didn’t know whether the club had sought an exemption to the governor’s order or secured a permit for Saturday night’s event, but said it was clear that the club’s patrons weren’t 6 feet (2 meters) apart.
“It’s certainly not the best situation to stop the spread of this virus,” the sheriff said.
A phone call and an Instagram direct message from the AP to Lavish Lounge weren’t immediately returned, but the club posted on Facebook just before 6 a.m. that events “have been postponed until further notice.”
Lewis said the victims, whose names were not immediately released, were taken to the Prisma Health hospital in Greenville, some via private vehicle.
Prisma Health spokesperson Tammie Epps said she did not know how many victims were in critical condition.