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28 hurt in US club shooting

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) – Club-goers screamed and scrambled for cover as dozens of gunshots rang out during a rap concert in downtown Little Rock early Saturday, leaving 28 people injured from an 11-second 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 bullet wounds, and three others were hurt, perhaps while fleeing, Buckner said. Two people were in critical condition Saturday afternoon. Police said officers did not have any suspects in custody.

Courtney Swanigan, 23, told The Associated Press that when the gunfire rang out, “I just closed my eyes, got down on the ground, and put my hands on my head.”

City officials said they would move to shut down the club under a “criminal abatement” program today. State regulators suspended the club’s liquor license earlier Saturday.

On Saturday night, a representative for the landlord’s office posted an eviction notice on a door to the club. The notice stated that the club must move out of the property within three days “due to your failure to maintain the premises in a safe condition.”

“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,” Stodola said at an afternoon news conference.

He said the city must “keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people” and suggested that people refuse to patronize clubs that seem to promote violence. Material advertising the concert by Tennessee rapper Finese 2Tymes showed a man pointing a gun at a camera.

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