Cornell Beckley and Deondre Davis are accused of participating in the mass shooting of 16 people at the Cameo nightclub in Cincinnati, Ohio.
They are each charged with one count of murder only, but more charges may come, police said. It’s being called the worst mass shooting of 2017.
The shooting unfolded in the early morning hours of March 26 at the hip hop club, after police said a conflict escalated between two groups of people inside the packed establishment.
One person, Obryan Spikes, died in the Cincinnati nightclub shooting, according to Cincinnati.com.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Davis Was Also Shot at the Nightclub
A manhunt was underway for the shooters on March 26 hours after the mass shooting occurred. However, it turned out that Davis was one of those injured. He was shot and is still recovering. Altogether, counting Davis, 17 people were shot.
Police said there was no indication the shooting was terrorism related.
City Manager Harry Black said that the problems between two groups or people had started earlier in the day, according to WLWT-TV.
“The conflict is believed to have begun between specific groups or individuals earlier in the day, escalating and ultimately leading to this tragedy occurring at the nightclub,” he said to the television station.
According to WLWT, the other victims were: Rodney Espy, 30; Jraejah Warren, 28; Stephen Haley, 28; Rayshunda Higgins, 33; Jarrod Givens, 26; Ronald Lee, 33; Nathan McClendon, 27; Shannon Brown, 25; Jordan Harris, 24; Valor Stanley, 28; Bryant Stevenson, 28; Christopher Harris, 34; Michael Feagins Jr., 30; Khristian Howell, 26; and Regina Madaris, 33.
2. It’s Not Clear Whether the Deceased Victim Was Targeted
Despite earlier reports of more than one shooter, police said on Twitter that there “was only one reported shooter at this time” but said they were still investigating. However, they subsequently said more than one person fired, and they have charged both suspects with murder.
According to WCPO, the police chief said “The incident started as an altercation in the club, then turned into a fight before it became a shootout…at least three guns made it into the club that night, and possibly more.”
Police said that both suspects were charged with one count or murder, but they could face additional charges and authorities are still investigating whether anyone else was involved.
It’s not clear whether the man who died in the mass shooting, Obyran Spikes, was intentionally targeted, the television station reported.
Ohio’s governor weighed in. Ohio Gov. John Kasich expressed upset over the shooting, telling CNN, “Where is it safe to go?”
An eyewitness told Cincinnati.com that a “brawl” ignited inside the club, and the gunfire that erupted was so loud that it could be heard above the music.
“It was a big gun because you heard it over the music,” Mauricio Thompson said to the newspaper. “Everybody’s running. Everybody scattered to get out of the club.”
3. The Cameo Mass Shooting Is the Worst in America in 2017 & Beckley Has a Criminal History
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Cameo nightclub shooting is the worst mass shooting in the United States in 2017.”
Beckley has a criminal history, reported WCPO:
Police described a “chaotic” scene that broke out at the club along with the gunfire.
Police said many people fled when the shooting erupted, complicating the investigation.
Police Capt. Kimberly Williams said in a news conference that most people ran outside the club during the shooting.
4. The Club Has a History of Gun Violence but the Police Say This Was the Worst Incident There
The city manager told Cincinnati.com that gun violence has occurred at the club before.
“Cameo club has a history of gun violence including a shooting inside the club on New Years Day 2015 and a shooting in the parking lot in September of the same year,” City Manager Black told the newspaper.
Williams said “it was a very young crowd” and “we have had incidents there in the past, but this was the worst by far.”
5. The DJs Called for Security During the Shooting on ‘Grown & Sexy Night’
Four off-duty police officers were working security at the club when the shooting occurred, CNN reported.
The club promotes Saturday nights as over 21 events known as “grown and sexy night,” according to CNN.
Williams said “it was a very large crowd” when it started.