Gunfire broke out in a crowd waiting outside a Tempe, Arizona club where rapper Nipsey Hussle was due to perform on Friday night.
The shooting happened just before midnight in the parking lot of the Clubhouse Music Venue. Lieutenant Mike Horn, a spokesman for the Tempe police department, told the Associated Press that three men opened fire at each other after an argument began in the crowd of at least 250 people lined up outside the club.
“People were running in all different directions, and some people were trying to force their way into the bar to get away,” Horn said. “It was incredibly chaotic, and understandably so. Again, we’re just fortunate that no one was killed.”
At least 14 people were injured, and two have been hospitalized in serious condition. The police said that the three gunmen are believed to be affiliated with local gangs. They have arrested one suspect in the shooting and are still searching for the other two.
The venue has apparently seen trouble in the past. According to the Phoenix New Times, a stabbing had occurred in the same parking lot in 2009, and Horn told the AP about a 2007 shooting death at the club.
Los Angeles-based Nipsey Hussle, who was headlining the Clubhouse show, did not end up taking the stage on Friday night. Soon after the incident, he tweeted: “Az….y’all gotta be cool man. This shit ain’t rite.”
The rapper later released statement through his Tumblr, which read, in part:
I grew up on the streets of south central Los Angeles and have witnessed many tragedies in my lifetime. I never glorify any situation like this and think it is disgusting. Any fan of my music knows that I strongly oppose gun violence, and that I represent nothing but peace and progress through hard work… that anyone can overcome adversity no matter what your social status in life, which is clearly addressed on my latest release, “The Marathon Continues.”
Many people will wrongfully attribute this incident to the hip-hop culture, which is purely and simply false. The alleged shooters were not ticket holders for my performance. Regardless, this incident is a tragic reminder of the circumstances that face our community every day, and my heart and prayers go out to the victims of this, and all the other senseless acts of violence occurring every day in our communities.