Multiple armed shooters at the Cameo nightclub in Cincinnati, Ohio shot 16 people, leaving one club-goer dead. Responders received phone calls reporting shots fired with injuries after 1 a.m. on Sunday, March 26, 2017.
Among the victims was 27-year-old O’Bryan Spikes, who emergency responders pronounced dead at the scene. Coroners removed his body around 6 a.m. Fifteen victims retained gunshot wounds, with one critically injured and 14 others with serious or minor injuries.
This shooting has been identified as the worst of the 71 committed in the U.S. in 2017 so far.
Witnesses report around 20 total shots being fired and that people, including the club’s DJ, had called for security to intervene before the gunfire began.
While the shooters’ motives cannot be determined, Police Chief Elliot Isaac says, “Several local men got into some type of a dispute inside the bar, and it escalated into shots being fired from several individuals.”
Police report that there were about 200 people at the bar at the time, creating a chaotic scene following the incident. There were no minors at the scene due to the bar only permitting people 21 years of age or older to enter on Saturday nights.
Despite accusations, there is no evidence indicating that the shooting was an act of terrorism. However, this tragedy is still likely to invoke panic in the people of Cincinnati.
Freshman Manshita Kaur says, “When anyone hears the word terrorist, fear is more likely to be spread.”
The Cincinnati Police Department offer four off-duty police officers to provide security detail for the parking lot and surrounding areas, but they do not act as “bouncers.” Clubs are required to provide their own security inside.
These officers were able to administer first aid and create a safe environment for first responders, which led to a quick response.
Despite security requiring that people be searched with electronic detecting wands and pat-downs, one or more firearms passed undetected.
Club patron Sherell Johnson claimed that there was no screening that night.
“[A security guard] was just taking money. He wasn’t patting them (patrons) down [for weapons],” says Johnson. “He was just accepting the money, telling people, this is the no-wait line. They were paying $40 to $60 to get in that line.”
Officials report that there were supposedly functioning security cameras inside, and they are being reviewed.
Since the club’s opening in 2014, multiple assaults at Cameo have been reported. There were two shootings in 2015, one on New Year’s Day and another in September. Both yielded only one victim. Before 2014, the location was known as a gay bar called Adonis.
Freshman Kaitlyn Weissmann says, “I . . . think that people may be afraid of visiting a hip-hop club for a decent amount of time [in] the future.”
What does it take for a “dispute” to become a gunfight? Will this incident make people afraid to go out and have fun at nightclubs?