The parking lot of Cameo Nightlife club remains empty after police removed barrier tape from the scene of a mass shooting in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. March 26, 2017. REUTERS/Caleb Hughes(reuters_tickers)
By Ian Simpson
(Reuters) - Ohio police have yet to make any arrests in a fatal shooting in a Cincinnati nightclub over the weekend, in part because there was no security video footage of the mayhem available to investigators, authorities said on Monday.
The shooting at the packed Cameo Nightlife early on Sunday morning left a 27-year-old man dead and wounded 16 others, a number that authorities said on Monday was one more than previously thought.
The gunfire, which sent hundreds of patrons fleeing, grew out of a dispute inside the club, which has a history of gun violence, including two shootings in 2015, authorities said.
The shooting was a painful reminder of a Florida nightclub massacre last year that left 49 people dead in the worst mass shooting in the U.S. history.
Police said on Monday they were confident of finding those responsible even though they lack video footage of the chaos.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley told Police Chief Eliot Isaac at a City Council committee hearing that he fully backed the department in tracking down the culprits.
"You have my support ... when the evidence points to making the arrests and putting people away," he said at the televised hearing of the public safety panel.
The best witnesses to the shooting were those who had been shot and were still recovering from wounds, Isaac said. In addition, witnesses were reluctant to cooperate immediately after the incident, police said.
Isaac said another person had come forward late on Sunday claiming to have been hit by gunfire, raising the total of those wounded to 16. Two of them remained in critical condition at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Patrons managed to bring guns into Cameo Nightlife even though four off-duty police officers were providing security in the parking lot. Employees also used handheld metal detectors to check patrons for firearms before they could enter the club.
Even so, one customer told the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper that clubgoers in a "no-wait" line were not being screened.
Club owner Julian Rodgers issued a statement late on Sunday expressing condolences to the victims. "We will do everything in our power to cooperate and make sure the monsters that did this are caught and brought to justice," he said.
A telephone call to the club was not answered and its Facebook page was unavailable.
The shooting was the worst this year in the United States in terms of the total number of dead and wounded, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which tracks U.S. shootings.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Frank McGurty and Matthew Lewis)