WORLD Rap gig ends in hail of bullets
CLUBGOERS screamed and scrambled for cover as dozens of gunshots rang out during a rap concert in central Little Rock early yesterday, leaving 28 people injured from an 11second melee that police said may be gang- related.
The volley of gunfire inside the Power Ultra Lounge came so fast that investigators believe multiple people had to have been involved.
Police Chief Kenton Buckner credited quick work by first responders for there being no fatalities.
Twenty- five people between the ages of 16 and 35 suffered gunshot wounds, and three others were hurt, perhaps while fleeing, Mr Buckner said. Two people were in critical condition.
Police did not have any suspects in custody late yesterday.
Courtney Swanigan, 23, said it was terrifying when the gunfire rang out.
“I just closed my eyes, got down on the ground and put my hands on my head,” she said.
City officials said they would move today to shut down the club under a “criminal abatement” program.
Arkansas State regulators suspended the club’s liquor licence and Mayor Mark Stodola said the property’s manager was delivering an eviction notice.
“We know we’ve got to use a hammer, we’ve got to use a big hammer on the people who would do violence with guns and hurt people,” he said. He suggested that people refuse to patronise clubs that seemed to promote violence.
Material advertising the concert by Tennessee rapper Finese 2Tymes showed a man pointing a gun at a camera.
“A promotional video with a gun on the front cover inviting people to a concert ... should also be totally unacceptable,” the mayor said.
The shooting capped a viol- ent week in Arkansas’ largest city.
Police had responded to a dozen drive- by shootings over the previous nine days.
“This does appear to be a continuation of disputes from some of our local groups,” Chief Buckner said.
The shooting occurred around 2.30am local time.
Arkansas lawmakers this year passed a law allowing concealed handguns in bars, with permission of the businesses’ owners and if the gun permit holder completes additional training. The law takes effect on September 1, but the training likely won’t be available until next year.