A shooting at a Little Rock nightclub on Friday night (June 30) left 17 injured and a capital city calling for more to be done to stop violent crime.
From content partner, KATV Ch. 7 News:
City police are investigating a shooting at the Power Ultra Lounge in downtown Little Rock that happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
Police say 25 victims were injured by the gunfire and three others had unrelated injuries.
Witnesses tell Channel 7 shots were fired in the crowd and then shots were returned from the stage.
“I got a call from my daughter that my son had been shot. People’s trying to notify me on Facebook, but I was asleep,” says Raida Bunche, a mother looking for her son who was reportedly shot. “So I got a call saying he’s been shot and I really can’t think right now. Like I said, I lost a son. I need to locate my son and see if he’s okay. I hate for him to be out there by himself at the hospital. He has family that’s looking for him.”
According to the Power Ultra Lounge’s Twitter page, Finese 2 Tymes was the headline performer, slated to take the stage from Friday 10 p.m. to Saturday 2 a.m.
Police confirm all victims are alive and have been transported to multiple hospitals in the area, where authorities are interviewing them. CHI St. Vincent says five victims in connection to the shooting were taken to the hospital. Eleven victims, all with not life-threatening injuries, were treated at UAMS. Baptist Health says nine people were taken to the hospital as well, with three victims taken to North Little Rock and six taken to Little Rock. Baptist says three of the six taken to the Little Rock hospital have been released. Four people were also taken to Children’s Hospital, though none of them were admitted.
“Certainly during incidents such as this emotions are very high,” said Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner. “We need to be very careful with our words. But this is, I guess, a blip on the map that we certainly didn’t need considering the history we’ve had over the past week.”
Police have not released any suspect information, but do not believe this was an active shooter or terror related incident. Police say it appears to have been a dispute at a concert. Read more at KATV.com.
ELECTED OFFICIALS REACT
Several statewide public officials released statements related to the shooting, including Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who called for more state resources to address violent crimes, which have quickened in pace in recent weeks.
“First and foremost, my thoughts are with the victims and their families this morning, and the First Lady and I are praying for their quick recovery. I also want to thank the first responders who no doubt saved lives with their quick action.
“Little Rock’s crime problem appears to be intensifying. Every few days, it seems a high profile shooting dominates the news, culminating with this morning’s event. I have spoken this morning with Mayor Stodola and I have offered both my heartfelt concern over this senseless violent tragedy and state assets as needed to address the continued threat of violence in our community.
“We are still gathering facts, but it is clear that we need to have a comprehensive enforcement strategy in place that helps take the violent threats off the streets. The state will participate and bring assets to the table to support local law enforcement efforts.”
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also weighed in with thoughts.
“My thoughts and prayers are with all 17 victims who were injured overnight at the Power Ultra Lounge in Little Rock, and I am grateful for the first responders who saved multiple lives,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Today, we all woke to the tragic news that this senseless act of violence occurred right in the heart of our capital city. As state and community leaders, it is our responsibility to encourage a civil, peaceful discourse and that violence can never be the solution to solve our differences. As the chief law enforcement officer, I stand ready to assist the Little Rock Police Department as they continue their investigation and we work together to reduce crime in our communities.”
Little Rock city leaders will hold a press briefing at 3 p.m. Saturday to release more details. The press conference will be held at city hall.
Other officials also released statements:
U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock:
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this morning’s senseless act of violence. I am confident in the ability of our seasoned police officers in Little Rock to bring the suspect or suspects to justice, and I have reached out to Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner to offer any assistance he may need from my office. I also thank our first responders, doctors, and hospital staff for their treatment of those wounded. Members of our community are strong and resilient, and it’s when we work together that we can find solutions to overcome this kind of violence.”
U.S. Senator John Boozman, R-Ark.:
“Cathy and I send our prayers to the victims of this tragic violence. I continue to stand and support law enforcement to fight this ongoing reckless violence in our capital city.”