CINCINNATI (Reuters) - Gunfire erupted inside a packed nightclub in Cincinnati, Ohio, early Sunday morning, killing one person and injuring 15 others, as an apparent argument that may have started earlier in the day turned violent, authorities said.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said there was no evidence of "a terrorist attack," as with last year's Pulse nightclub slaughter in Orlando, Florida that killed 49 people in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
"However to the victims, what difference does it make?" Cranley said. "People were just going to have a good time and ended up getting shot."
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Twitter reactions to Ohio nightclub shooting
Twitter reactions to Ohio nightclub shooting
It breaks my heart to hear about another nightclub mass shooting. Thoughts and prayers go out to the victims #cincinatti
Why r all the trumpians hoping #cincinatti shooting was at the hands of Muslim terrorists? So ridiculous. Stop pointing fingers. Get facts.
#Sorrytohear #Cameo #shooting #Cincinatti 🙏Was it a #terrorist attack?
@popstherock33 Now a mass shooting has occurred in #cincinatti. So much bloodshed this week. 😢🙏
Thoughts are with all involved in the #Cincinatti #shooting #999family
My heart goes out to cincinnati victims and their friends and families #cincinattishooting
Another American mass shooting. When will these people learn that it's time to bring in gun control #cincinatti #ohio
Sad situation in #cincinatti club shooting.
#cincinatti praying for victims of this senseless shooting! How many will say this wasn't terrorism?
My condolences to the family & friends of the victim in the #Cameo nightclub shooting. #AllLivesMatter #LivesMatter #cincinatti #Ohio
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No arrests had been made hours after the shooting took place around 1 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT) as hundreds of people partied inside Cameo Nightlife. The club has a history of gun violence, including two shootings in 2015, City Manager Harry Black said in a statement.
Authorities believe multiple gunmen were involved in the Sunday morning shooting, which grew out of "some kind of dispute" inside the bar, Police Chief Eliot Isaac said.
The disagreement may have been started earlier in the day, Black said.
"At this point it's unclear exactly what instigated the shooting," police Captain Kimberly Williams said at a televised briefing. "Just a lot of chaos when the shots went off."
Four police officers, who were providing security in the parking lot when the shots rang out, ran into the club and treated victims, the chief said. In addition to those hit by gunfire, several people sustained minor injuries attempting to flee.
Police did not have a good description of the suspects, in part because witnesses were reluctant to cooperate, Williams told WCPO television.
The man who was killed was identified by authorities as 27-year-old O'Bryan Spikes. Two of the injured were in critical condition, a University of Cincinnati Medical Center spokeswoman said. The others hit by gunfire were in stable condition in other area hospitals, and some were treated and released.
Ohio Governor John Kasich sent his condolences and offered state help in the case.
"Saddened to learn about last night's shooting in Cincinnati," Kasich said on Twitter. "Our prayers are with the victims and families of all of those involved."
Cameo Nightlife's Facebook page says it features "College Friday's" for students 18 and older and "Saturday's 21+ grown and sexy night."
The club, a large single-story structure, is a 7-mile (11 km) drive from downtown Cincinnati near the southeast corner of the city, the heart of the second largest metropolitan area in Ohio with more than 2 million residents.
States with the toughest gun laws
States with the toughest gun laws
National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meetings and exhibits show in Louisville, Kentucky, May 21, 2016. (Reuters)
#24. West Virginia
Score: 18 Grade: D-
West Virginia may rank low in terms of overall gun control, but in 2015 Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblinvetoed a bill that would have allowed people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
Score: 19.5 Grade: D-
The relatively lax firearm laws in Indiana have led some to link them to gun violence in Chicago.
#22. New Hampshire
Score: 20.5 Grade: D
New Hampshire requires handgun dealers to obtain a state license, but does not extend the rule to dealers of rifles and shotguns.
Score: 21.5 Grade: D
Nebraska differs from many states in that it gives local jurisdictions some control over firearm regulations.
Score: 22 Grade: D
Following the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, the state took greater measures to report mental health records and prohibit sales of firearms to any person who has been "adjudicated as a mental defective."
Score: 24 Grade: D
Ohio does not prohibit the sale of assault weapons nor limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time.
Score: 25 Grade: D
In a major blow to gun control advocates, Republican Gov. Scott Walkerrepealedthe state's mandatory 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases in 2015.
While Colorado requires licensed firearms dealers to process background checks, it does not impose limits on the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time.
Score: 30 Grade: C
Michigan gun control laws require firearm owners to report handgun purchases and theft of any firearm.
Score: 31 Grade: C
Oregon greatly strengthened its firearm regulations in 2015 when it enacted laws requiring background checks for all firearm purchases.
Score: 35 Grade: C
Compared to other solidly Democratic states, Pennsylvania's gun control laws are relatively lax, with no requirements for firearm owners to obtain licenses or register their weapons.
Score: 36.5 Grade: C
Although federally licensed firearms dealers must initiate background checks, Minnesota does not require private sellers to do so.
Score: 47.5 Grade: B-
Washington requires all firearm dealers to obtain a state license, but does not mandate that individuals register their weapons.
Score: 50.5 Grade: B
Delaware has relatively strict gun control measures, including mandatory background checks and purchase restrictions on domestic violence misdemeanants.
#9. Rhode Island
Score: 58.5 Grade: B+
Rhode Island may have comprehensive gun control measures overall, but it stilldoes not prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons.
Score: 60 Grade: B+
In addition to requiring background checks, Illinois has instituted some design safety standards for handguns.
Score: 73.5 Grade: B+
In 2014, Hawaii had the lowest number of firearm-related deaths per 100K people. Gun regulation advocates have attributed this to its tight gun control measures.
#6. New York
Score: 81 Grade: A-
New York enacted major gun control reforms in 2013, including an expansion of the assault weapons ban and requirements for ammunition dealers to conduct background checks.
Score: 81.5 Grade: A-
Following the New York reforms, Massachusetts passed a comprehensive gun control bill in 2014 that increased firearm regulations.
Score: 82 Grade: A-
Among Maryland's firearm regulations are a ban on the transfer of certain assault weapons and a mandatory seven-day waiting period prior to the physical transfer of a firearm.
#3. New Jersey
Score: 86 Grade: A-
Republican Gov. Chris Christie may have shifted to the right on the issue of gun control, but his state still has some of the tightest firearm regulations in the country.
Score: 86.5 Grade: A-
Connecticut's extensive gun control laws require firearms dealers to obtain a license and mandate background checks for all firearm sales at gun shows.
Score: 93.5 Grade: A-
California takes the top spot as the state with the strictest gun control measures. Among the regulations in place are required background checks and limitations on the number of handguns an individual can purchase each month.