CLEVELAND (AP) — An early morning shooting in a nightclub area of downtown Cleveland sent nine people to the hospital, but no fatalities were reported, authorities said.
Police said preliminary information indicated someone opened fire toward a group of people in the Warehouse District shortly before 2:30 a.m. Sunday as the clubs were closing. The suspect apparently fled.
Chief Wayne Drummond of the Cleveland police department said seven men and two women between the ages of 23 to 38 were struck. One of the men was seriously wounded while injuries to the others were minor, he said.
Officers assigned to the district’s weekly detail arrived quickly to help the victims, after which they were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center. A suspect was being sought and investigators were looking for surveillance video from the many cameras in the area.
Police said there was no indication a confrontation at any of the area clubs preceded the gunfire.
No arrests were immediately reported. Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to contact them.
Mayor Justin Bibb called it a “tragic and sad day” that “truly shows the massive gun problem we have, not just in Cleveland, not just in Ohio, but across this nation.” Bibb called on state and national legislators to give city leaders more tools to crack down on the proliferation of firearms.
“I am sick and tired of getting these calls late at night,” he said. “I am sick and tired of hearing from our residents and victims of gun violence, and Republicans blaming us as mayors for violent crime. We need their help.”
Officials said a large police presence is on hand in the district every weekend and officers and first responders responded immediately, as did the sheriff’s department.
The shooter fired into a crowd despite the visible presence of police officers, Drummond said, adding that even “2,000 more officers” wouldn’t have stopped what happened. He called for a “wholistic” approach including “economic development, prevention, intervention, opportunities” to help turn things around.