While patrons were winding down from a tribute to the late rapper Tupac Shakur and a birthday bash at the Vortex, tempers flared and gunshots rang out around 2 a.m. Saturday morning. Four people were sent to the hospital with bullet and shrapnel wounds, police said.
“An argument broke out inside and spilled to the outside,” said Lt. Scott Spratt of the Marion Police Department.
Spratt said the suspect reached in his waistband, pulled out a gun and fired three to four shots.
“In the process he hit a few people. It appears he was shooting low,” Spratt said.
The weapon was a 40-caliber semi-automatic, according to Spratt.
Four victims were transported to the hospital, one to Mission Trauma Center with what was thought to be serious injuries, and three to McDowell with non-life threatening injuries, according to a press release from the McDowell County EMS.
All patients had been released as of Saturday.
There are leads on the suspect, but as of Saturday afternoon no one was in custody.
Names of the suspect and victims have not been released.
Vic Douglas, a cook at Vortex, called 911 after the bartender ran in and said shots were being fired. Douglas said there were about 30 people at Vortex last night.
“We have been quiet for so long. We haven’t had any trouble,” said Douglas.
The Marion Police Department, the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, and the McDowell County EMS responded and assisted at the crime scene.