HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Huntington Police Interim Chief Ray Cornwell says seven people were shot in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
It happened around 1:30 a.m.
Cornwell says the victims were inside the bar when they were shot and stated a witness say this was “a dispute between individuals and was not a random act.”
“Any incident of this nature in the downtown or any of our neighborhoods is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Huntington Mayor Steve Williams tells 13 News. “We are waiting for law enforcement investigators to provide more complete information about this incident before we determine the next steps.”
Police were initially unsure on the number of victims because some victims were transported by EMS while others were transported in personal vehicles.
According to Cornwell, an entertainer was at the bar at the time of the shooting and had personal security with them.
Police on scene say around 50 people were inside the Kulture Hookah Bar when they arrived on scene. Dispatch reports indicate people were screaming in the bar as the shots were fired.
At least one person required surgery and as of 10:45 a.m., there were no reported fatalities.
According to police, a trail of blood is visible from the front door all the way to the back of the bar.
At least eight shell casings have been found by police directly outside the bar and at least five shell casings were found in the parking lot across the street.
13 News learns from Huntington city officials “…are aggressively investigating whether Kulture had all of the required licenses and permits and whether it was complying with these licenses and permits.”