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Courts / Law

Chief: 3 In Custody In Fatal Shooting At Fort Myers Club

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The interim Fort Myers police chief says authorities have three persons of interest in custody and they are looking for others in the slayings of two teens at a nightclub.

Chief Dennis Eads said Monday that his officers responded to a chaotic scene at Club Blu at about 12:30 a.m. and immediately started helping the wounded. Nearly 20 people were wounded. He says some of the victims drove themselves to hospitals and others were taken there by ambulances.

The chief said the shooting was not an act of terrorism but he did not release a motive.

Gov. Rick Scott promised the state would do everything it could to help the victims and hold those responsible accountable. He also noted that the shooting happened as the state is seeing a 45-year low in the crime rate.

A security guard at the nightclub says she saw someone attack with a semi-automatic weapon, spraying bullets in the vicinity.

Brandy Mclaughlin was hired for the event, billed as a party for teens, as a security guard. She says she heard what sounded like firecrackers when the shooting started.

She says the gunman wasn't targeting anyone in particular, adding: "It was an idiot. An idiot with a firearm."

Mclaughlin says her girlfriend, Terry Parnell, who also was hired for the security detail that night, was next to one of the teens who was killed and that she also was shot and wounded in the gunfire.

Mclaughlin says she gave her girlfriend a tourniquet, and Parnell is now doing fine.

The owner the nightclub says she hired 10 security guards to patrol a party for youths before the shooting happened.

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  Cheryl Filardi said Monday that she was in the club's back room when the shots rang out. She says two guards were in the parking lot, one or two at the door and the rest floating inside.

The club has had four or five teen parties over the past half-dozen years, and this was the second one this summer. She says the parties are something positive for a rough and often-violent neighborhood. She says the club always hires extra security for the parties and has never had a problem.

A 14-year-old and 18-year-old were killed, and 17 were wounded in the shooting.

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