Two men shot at Tampa club - WFLA News Channel 8

Two men shot at Tampa club

Posted: Updated:
Tampa Police responded to the crime scene Tampa Police responded to the crime scene
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa Police are investigating a double shooting at The Kennedy nightclub.

It happened about three hours after the big New Year's countdown at the club on Kennedy and N. Moody Ave. Police say bouncers kicked out several men after they got into a disturbance inside.

Tampa Police believe one of those men went to his car across the street and got out a gun. He fired several shots towards the building. About 40 people were standing in the parking lot at the time.  Two men were hit, as well as an unoccupied car.

"We're fortunate that just two people were shot. It could have been a lot worse," said Tampa Police Lt. Bill Ferguson.

Calvin Cooper and Theodore Newman were rushed to Tampa General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Lt. Ferguson says it's unclear whether they were intended targets or random victims.

Witness told police they saw a black male speed off in an SUV. No further description of the suspect is available.

"We do have some witnesses who told us exactly what they saw and there are others who told us they don't want to get involved and they left," said Lt. Ferguson.

Police say they've responded to The Kennedy for several violent incidents in recent years and told club managers they must hire off-duty officers whenever they host large events.

"We've had shootings here before, we've had fights," said Lt. Ferguson. "We do require four officers to work here off-duty on the trouble nights. They called yesterday asking for four off-duty officers. Obviously calling at the last second is not the preferred thing to do. They should have called weeks ago."

Lt. Ferguson says no officers were available for the off-duty holiday assignment with such short notice, but several undercover officers were assigned to patrol the area. They heard the gunshots and arrived at the club moments later.

Employees at The Kennedy would not comment Wednesday morning about the shooting or security situation.

One man, not connected to the shooting, was arrested in front of The Kennedy Wednesday morning. Police say he was driving drunk and smashed into an unoccupied fire engine, which had responded to the shooting.

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