Authorities say 12 people were injured early on Sunday morning in a mass shooting at a nightclub in Baton Rouge. The shooting apparently began as a targeted strike but quickly spread into the crowd.
The Dior Bar and Lounge, a small establishment in a busy neighborhood just off College Drive, was the scene of gunfire at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday. Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said at a press conference on Sunday that nine people were injured, but none were in life-threatening condition.
We think someone was singled out and others were hurt in the process,” Paul added.
Gunmen have also opened fire randomly in areas like schools and nightclubs in the United States in recent years, resulting in numerous deaths.
The shooting that happened overnight at a local venue was a senseless act of violence that will not go unchecked. I personally joined Chief Paul and members of the BRPD team overnight at the hospital.
— Sharon Weston Broome (@MayorBroome) January 22, 2023
However, the targeted character of the Dior shooting is indicative of a broader trend in Baton Rouge, which continues to deal with a high homicide rate, many of which are motivated by people who turn to firearms to settle group conflicts or personal grudges.
Paul claimed that three municipal police officers who were stationed in the club’s parking area immediately guarded the scene when the shooting started and helped some of the wounded before emergency personnel arrived. The police still don’t get anyone in custody.
At first, it was unclear if any of the victims had been intended targets. A commander of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s homicide section declined to answer when asked if detectives know how many persons opened fire at the club. No one from the government would specify what kind of firearm was used in the incident, but they did say they knew what kind of weapon was used.
Shoes, wristbands, disposable gloves, and party fliers littered a gated doorway to the club on Sunday afternoon, a day after the commotion at the small, black facility on Bennington Avenue. There were fliers advertising a party on Monday night that had been left behind.
Senseless violence “will not go unchallenged,” Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome declared in a statement on Sunday.
I spent the night at the hospital with Chief Paul and the BRPD team,” Broome stated. To bring the offenders to justice, law enforcement is conducting an investigation into the incident.
Mass shootings are not only about those who are killed. Fortunately, no casualties in this one yet, but injuries and a lifetime of trauma to follow. Stop listening to those who refuse to acknowledge we have a gun problem. https://t.co/SaPpLzQujc
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) January 22, 2023
The East Baton Rouge Alcoholic Beverage Control office has begun an inquiry into the club’s operations, including how security at the establishment apparently permitted people to bring guns into a popular nightclub, separate from the ongoing criminal investigation into the shooting. On Sunday, attempts to contact the club’s owners were unsuccessful.
It was the second mass shooting in the United States in less than 24 hours. Ten people were killed and ten more were injured late Saturday night during a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park, California. The gunman may have tried to attack a second dance hall, but failed.
That massacre, which terrified Monterey Park’s sizable Asian American community, was the fifth mass shooting in the United States this month. Furthermore, it was the bloodiest incident since May 24, 2022, when 21 people were killed in an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
At least six mass shootings have occurred in the Baton Rouge area in the past three years, a time when the city and region have tried to stem the tide of rising gun crime.
During the month of October, nine individuals were hurt in a shooting that occurred near the campus of Southern University in Baton Rouge. Shots were heard overnight at a fraternity house, and students recounted a scene of confusion and turmoil.