By Frank McGurty
(Reuters) – At least two people were killed and more than a dozen people, many of them teenagers, were injured in a shooting Monday morning outside a nightclub in Florida, which hosted a party for all age group, according to authorities.
The shooting in Fort Myers took place just after 12.30am. (0430 GMT) in the parking lot of the club Blu, where officers found “several victims suffering from gunshot wounds,” said Police Department Fort Myers in a statement.
Between 14 and 16 people were wounded, with injuries ranging from mild to life threatening, according to police. A local hospital said the victims were between 12 and 27 years old.
Police said three people had been detained for questioning and that the area is considered safe, although the roads in the area were closed. Researchers have yet to determine a motive and were seeking the identity of the two people killed, the statement said.
The shooting came six weeks after a slaughter in a nightclub in the city of Orlando, where an armed man who sympathized with Islamic extremists killed 49 people in the deadliest shooting in US history Florida.
At about 150 miles southwest of Orlando, in the city of Gulf Coast Fort Myers, Club Blu was hosting a “costume party glow bath” for people of all ages, according to a prospectus published on Twitter by Wink local television station. To participate, customers are not required to show proof that they were the legal drinking age.
“It was a teen event,” Tatianna Nouhaioi, who was at the club, told ABC News. “There were kids. The boy was holding in my lap, I was 14 years old who was shot.”
Cheryl Garn, a spokeswoman for Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, said the victims had come only 12 years old. One of them died in the hospital, said in a statement, while three others were hospitalized, one in critical condition and one in serious condition.
Police said shots were fired at a nearby residence, where there was a minor injury.
Fort Myers Police and Sheriff Lee County were canvassing the area for others who may have been involved, the statement said.
Representatives of the agencies responsible for law enforcement could not immediately be reached for further comment.