CINCINNATI – Cincinnati A night club operator denies that some customers were able to bypass the security of the checks that are included in metal detection wands for a gunbattle broke out, killing one man and injuring 16 other people.
Julian “Jay” Rodgers rejected claims that people would pay to avoid the long line to get into the club without being checked. The police estimate that 200 people were in the beginning of the Sunday as a dispute escalated into a gunfight in which more than 20 shots were fired by an unknown number of gunmen in the popular club near the Ohio River east of downtown Cincinnati.
“There are untrue reports that certain clients have access to the club without passing the safety,” Rodgers, a veteran operator of Cincinnati-area venues, said in a statement late Monday. “This was not allowed.”
Rodgers said that two of the four privately paid uniformed Cincinnati police had a clear picture of safety procedures and helped “with the flow of the lines.”
The police Eliot Isaac, has stressed that the officers working off-duty security detail remained outside for the shot, and that the club was responsible for the safety. Isaac said that he was aware of the reports of the work of the security line, but the police have not yet confirmed.
No club security footage of the shooting emerged. The police declined to comment on whether they had identified any possible suspects, but Isaac said they are making progress in their research. No arrests have yet been made.
One of the wounded patrons, Angel Higgins, told WCPO-TV, she thought that it probably were the people get in the security checks. She said that the security just looked at her ID and let her in.
The mother of five described a chaotic scene in which people were desperately crawling over each other to reach the exits. She said her thought was: I can’t die in this club.
“I was thinking about my children,” Higgins said. “I’m going to make it up here?”
Higgins said she felt a bullet fly past her face. Soon after, another struck her in the leg and she collapsed.
They stumbled out of the club and then drove himself to a hospital. Fire department and police used ambulances for those victims who were more seriously injured. Two of the injured remained in critical condition Tuesday, and three were in stable condition.
The Hamilton County coroner’s office said Tuesday that O ” Bryan Spikes, the 27-year-old man killed in the shooting, died from a single shot to the chest.
WLWT-TV reported plans for a Tuesday evening prayer vigil for Spikes and other shooting victims on the Cameo site.
Rodgers said Cameo had planned to go out in May by the landlord’s intended sale of the property, but will instead close the door for good Friday. He had previously voluntarily surrendered its liquor license.
City officials said Cameo had been the scene of past violence, including a shooting in the club on new year’s day in 2015, one on the parking lot in September of that year.
Ohio liquor agents said the club was cited for drug use and possession violations after an inspection the following Sunday at the shoot. Agents reported finding marijuana in plain view, along with partially smoked marijuana in an employee-only section.
Adam Johnson of the Ohio Investigative Unit said on Monday the club took a times before, in 2015, for drug abuse.
Seewer reported from Toledo. AP researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed.