YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Youngstown police said the man killed in a deadly shooting early Saturday at the Utopia nightclub was targeted.
During a press conference Monday afternoon, Police Lt. Ramon Cox said that the victim, who is a Youngstown man and was performing at the E. Midlothian Blvd. club, was shot deliberately.
“The suspect just walked up and shot him,” Cox said. “Bullets just flew and people got shot.”
The club, which is known to be frequented by people in the LGBTQ community, was having a concert at the time of the shooting.
Police Chief Carl Davis said there is no evidence that the shooting was a hate crime.
Another man and a woman also wounded in the shooting were innocent bystanders, Davis said.
“Unfortunately, we have individuals out there who are feuding with each other and innocent people get hurt.”
Officer Joe Wess wrote in a report that the woman was in the parking lot of the nightclub and bleeding heavily from a wound in the leg that had hit an artery.
Wess used his tourniquet to stop the bleeding before the woman was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center.
Police found the man who was killed by the front door of the club when they responded within seconds of gunfire ringing out about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.
Police have not identified the man who was killed.
Officers were working a “hot spot complaint” and were across from the club when they heard gunfire and immediately drove into the parking lot. As they did, reports said hundreds of people were running out of the club and into the parking lot.
As police got out of their vehicles and started to run inside, they heard more gunfire. Officers never returned fire and were never a target, Chief of Detectives Capt. Rod Foley said.
Cox said police did not recover a gun inside but officers found casings from at least two different weapons, so detectives believe more than one person fired a gun.
Mayor Jamael Tito Brown asked anyone with information to share it with police.
“We need everyone’s help. There were multiple, multiple people there. Someone has to come forward.”
Anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers Youngstown at 330-746-CLUE or the Detective Bureau at 330-742-8911.
The shooting gives the city 22 people shot for the year, seven fatally. Last year at this time, Youngstown had seen 17 people shot, and eight fatally. The city had nine homicides at this time last year as compared to seven this year.