Two people were killed and more than a dozen were wounded after at least one gunman opened fire inside of a Fort Myers nightclub hosting an event for teens early on Monday morning.
The latest mass shooting in Florida is especially tragic because most of the victims were children between the ages of 12 and 17. The event is sure to embolden gun control advocates at the state and federal level to push their agenda forward, only to be countered by arguments that are all too familiar in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Orlando just one month ago. Opponents of gun control have long argued the solution for mass shootings is providing greater security, but armed guards were present at the Fort Myers event. Americans must face the fact that there is a growing mental health crisis in their country, and the afflicted are able to purchase firearms too easily. Political action will not erase these deadly events, but will make them far less frequent.
Fort Myers Police: No Clear Motive In Mass Shooting
Fort Myers authorities have detained three suspects, but have yet to uncover a motive for the attack on a nightclub hosting an event for teens. Police have since declared the area "safe".
Children aged 12 to 17 were attending the underage "Swimsuit Glow Party" event at Club Blu Bar and Grill. Witnesses reported hearing "hundreds" of gunshots around 12:30 a.m. on Monday morning.
"The kid I was holding in my lap, he was 14-years-old that got shot," Tatianna Naouhaioi told local media. "And then there was a little girl who also got shot and she was 13. One of the security guard's daughter got shot, so I mean there was kids 13, 14, 15, 16. It was a young kids event."
Syeeta Gary, the mother of one of the children attending the event, was relieved to find her daughter escaped the mass shooting without any injuries. Her daughter's best friend was shot in the leg.
"I just thank God that my daughter is OK cause she could have been shot," she said.
The Fort Myers shooting comes just a month after 49 people were killed at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando. The tragic event reawakened the gun control debate across the country, but lawmakers in Congress have been stalled by partisan divisions.
NBC News says the teens were innocent
The club said there was "armed security" at the event for children between the ages of 12 and 17, adding there "was nothing more we could have done." Although police did not immediately give information about the identity of the suspects, the club said that "it was not kids at the party that did this despicable act."
Huffington Post provides eye witness accounts
Tatianna Nouhaioi, who was at the nightclub, described the chaotic scenes as terrified youngsters ran for cover...Frightened mom Syeeta Gary said her young daughter narrowly escaped being wounded. Her daughter's best friend, however, was shot in the leg.
Washington Post reports the big picture
At least two other scenes are connected to the incident, police said. Shots were fired at a residence and vehicle at 2550 Parkway Street, about a half-mile from the club. One minor injury was reported there. Nearly six miles from the club, on Ortiz Avenue between Luckett and Ballard roads, three people were detained for questioning, police said.