Gunfire at a packed nightclub in Cincinatti early this morning has left at least one person dead and 15 injured in the worst mass shooting of 2017 so far.
No suspects are in custody, but officials believe the incident was not terrorism related. As of 10:50 a.m. local time, two people are in critical condition, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Although the motive is still unclear, a man who was inside the club at the time of the shooting told the Enquirer he saw a "big brawl" before he heard at least 20 shots being fired.
"It was a big gun because you heard it over the music," said Mauricio Thompson. "Everybody's running. Everybody scattered to get out of the club."
"This conflict is believed to have begun between two specific groups or individuals earlier in the day, escalating and ultimately leading to this tragedy," City Manager Harry Black told the Enquirer.
Some of the victims drove themselves to hospitals while others were transported by ambulances, police said. Several have life-threatening injuries.
Surveillance cameras were inside the venue at the time of the shooting, police told WLWT. Additionally, authorities have recovered an unspecified number of firearms from the scene, according to The Enquirer.
The tragedy is the worst mass shooting in the U.S. for total number of victims so far this year, the Enquirer reported, citing data from Gunviolencearchive.com. The U.S. has seen 71 mass shootings so far in 2017.
The club itself has a history of gun violence, including a shooting on New Year’s Day in 2015 and a parking lot shooting that occurred September that year, Black told the AP. The club allows admission to anyone over the age of 18, WLWT reported.
"Saturday night, it is a very young crowd. We have had incidents here in the past, but this is by far the worst," an official told the AP.
"We recognise the horrific nature of this incident," Black said. "I have full confidence in our police professionals who are devoting all the necessary resources toward working on this case."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said on Twitter that he was "saddened to learn about last night's shooting" and offered the state's assistance.