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Police: Florida nightclub shooting not terror-related

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Officials investigate the scene of a deadly shooting outside of the Club Blu nightclub today in Fort Myers, Fla. Gunfire erupted at the nightclub hosting a swimsuit-themed party for teens.

Police identified a 14-year-old boy and 18-year-old man as the two killed this morning in a shooting that left more than 14 others injured outside a Fort Myers nightclub.

Club Blu on Evans Avenue, a few miles south of the city’s downtown area, was hosting a “Swimsuit Glow Party” for middle and high school students. The event had just wrapped up when the shooting started about 12:30 a.m.

Fort Myers police said the shooting is not terrorism-related.

Detectives were questioning three people possibly connected and working to determine a possible motive.

The two people killed were identified as Sean Archilles, 14, and Stef’an Strawder, 18.

None of the other victims’ names have been released. Their injuries ranged from minor to life-threatening, police said.

Reports say many of the victims were treated and released from a local hospital. Police were looking to talk with a few of those victims, who were released before talking with detectives.

Club Blu posted on Facebook this morning that the event — for ages 12 to 17 — had ended and teens were leaving when the shooting started.

The event was advertised as an “indoor beachglow party.” No ID was required and several local artists were lined up to perform, according to a flier shared on social media.

A post made just before 7 a.m. on Club Blu’s Facebook page stated teens didn’t need ID “because it was a middle school/high school event. 12 year olds usually don’t have a student ID.”

That post was quickly deleted and replaced with one saying the club is “deeply sorry for all involved.”

“We tried to give the teens what we thought was a safe place to have a good time,” the new post reads. “There was armed security as well as full security, inside and out.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott released a statement saying he cancelled his scheduled events Monday and planned to meet with officials in Fort Myers.

“While we are still learning the details about what happened this morning, we know that some of the victims of this terrible incident were children. We will continue to pray for the victims and their families,” the statement reads.

Police said officers responded to reports of a shooting in the club’s parking lot to find several victims with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening, police said.

Emergency medical crews took the injured to local hospitals, where police found more victims, who had arrived on their own.

Detectives this morning were trying to determine the exact number of victims and said it appeared at least 18 people, including the two killed, were injured.

Fort Myers police were at two other scenes — a home about half a mile north of the club where two vehicles were shot up, and along a street about seven miles away.

Both appeared to be connected to the shooting outside Club Blu, police said.

Few details about either of the other scenes were released. Police said one person received minor injuries when the two vehicles were shot.

The scene along Ortiz Avenue, between Luckett Road and Ballard Road, is where officers found the three people being questioned.

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©2016 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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