Nine people were wounded in a mass shooting in downtown Cleveland early Sunday morning, authorities said. No deaths were reported.
A suspect has not been identified, police said.
The shooter opened fire toward a crowd of people exiting different nightclubs in the city’s Warehouse District, where multiple officers were already stationed in the area as part of a regular police detail, authorities said at a news conference held at the scene on Sunday afternoon. Those officers responded “immediately” and rendered aid to the nine individuals struck by gunfire, according to Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond.
The mass shooting happened at around 2:25 a.m. local time. Police said the victims include seven men and two women, whose ages range from 23 to 38 years old. Eight of them sustained injuries that were not considered life-threatening, while the condition one person, a man, was listed overnight as being in serious condition.
Hammond told reporters Sunday afternoon that investigators are actively investigating the mass shooting and following “some leads” in efforts to locate and arrest the suspect. They intend to share more information with the public about the nature of those leads later on, according to the police chief, who noted that there was no indication of any fight or altercation between the suspected shooter and nightclub patrons prior to the shooting.
At Sunday’s news conference, both law enforcement officials and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb called for increased gun control in the city and across the state, and cited the accessibility of firearms in Ohio as the primary reason for mass shootings like this one.
Bibb said the shooting “truly shows the massive gun problem we have, not just in Cleveland, not just in Ohio, but across this nation,” and referenced a law passed last year by the Ohio state legislature and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine that allows any “qualifying adult” to legally carry, possess, or conceal a handgun without a license, background check or training requirements. Bibb said gun violence has increased statewide since the law took effect.
“It’s not a matter of police response,” said Hammond. “It’s not a matter of police visibility.”
As the investigation continues, authorities are speaking with the owners of buildings in the area of the mass shooting to obtain any surveillance tapes that may have footage of the suspected shooter.