Gunfire erupted inside a Louisiana nightclub early Sunday, wounding a dozen people in a “targeted attack”, police said, marking one of the the latest mass shootings to occur in the U.S.
One of the 12 victims was in critical condition after the shooting at the Dior Bar & Lounge in Baton Rouge, police said.
As of Monday, no arrests in the case had been announced.
“This was not a random act of violence, based on the preliminary investigating efforts,” Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said during a news conference Sunday. “We believe that this was a targeted event, where someone was specifically targeted and others were injured in that process.”
According to police, shots rang out about 1:30 a.m. and three nearby police officers responded to the club where they administered life-saving aid to victims until emergency medical technicians arrived.
“We believe their immediate response prevented further injuries,” Paul said.
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Police did not say how many of the people shot were targeted and Paul would not say if the incident involved more than one shooter.
Baton Rouge police could not immediately be reached by USA TODAY Monday morning.
Authorities say they are pursuing leads and the motive is unknown.
“There is someone who knows something – do the right thing. You can save the next incident because it is obvious that this person has total disregard for life,” Paul said.
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“We’re deeply sorry for what took place this morning. Sending prayers out to the victims and their families and we ask that you do the same,” the business posted on its Instagram page. “We are not taking anything lighting and are diligently working towards providing answers. #PrayForBatonRouge.”
Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome – who met with mayors of other major U.S. cities in Washington, D.C., last week, to discuss the issue of crime – called the shooting “a senseless act of violence that will not go unchecked.”
“We will not stop our work until everyone feels safe and individuals no longer turn to guns to resolve their differences,” Broome tweeted.
Although the number of homicides in Baton Rouge decreased last year from 2021, Louisiana’s capital city has been plagued by gun violence. In October, an early-morning shooting near Southern University’s campus in Baton Rouge left nine people injured.
Contributing: Associated Press.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.