Sheriff: 2 dead, 8 hurt in South Carolina nightclub shooting

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A shooting at a nightclub early Sunday left two people dead and eight wounded in South Carolina, a sheriff’s official said.

Two Greenville County sheriff’s deputies noticed a disturbance at Lavish Lounge just before 2 a.m., and saw a large crowd running out of the building, Sheriff Hobart Lewis said at a press conference. There was “active gunfire from inside the building,” Lt. Jimmy Bolt said in an initial statement, and Lewis said all the shots were fired inside.

Both Lewis and Bolt initially said 12 people had been wounded — with at least four in critical condition, Lewis said — but Bolt told The Associated Press that two victims were likely counted twice in the confusion at the hospital.

No one was immediately taken into custody. Bolt told the AP that the sheriff’s office was looking for two suspects, but couldn’t provide names or descriptions.

“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.

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