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2 Dead, 8 Hurt in SC Shooting          07/05 09:56

   

   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.

   McMaster reminded South Carolinians last week that he hadn't lifted 
restrictions on large crowds, and that those operating nightclubs illegally or 
holding concerts against his orders don't have to be caught in the act to face 
criminal charges, but instead could be charged weeks later if COVID-19 cases 
are traced back.

   Under restrictions imposed by McMaster in March to restrict the spread of 
the coronavirus, gatherings of 50 or more people in a single room are 
off-limits. It was not immediately clear how many people were in the club at 
the time of the shooting.

   Lewis said at the press conference he didn't know whether the club had 
sought an exemption to the governor's order or secured a permit for Saturday 
night's event, but said it was clear the club's patrons weren't 6 feet (2 
meters) apart.

   "It's certainly not the best situation to stop the spread of this virus," 
the sheriff said.

   A phone call and an Instagram direct message from the AP to Lavish Lounge 
weren't immediately returned, but the club posted on Facebook just before 6 
a.m. that events "have been postponed until further notice."

   Lewis said the victims, whose names were not immediately released, were 
taken to the Prisma Health hospital in Greenville, some via private vehicle. 
Bolt said that of the eight wounded, some had non-life-threatening injuries and 
others were in critical condition, but he didn't have a tally of the latter.

   Prisma Health spokesperson Tammie Epps said she did not know how many 
victims were in critical condition.

    

    

 
 
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