US rapper arrested after 25 people shot in nightclub gun battle
A rapper who was performing at an Arkansas nightclub where 25 people were shot has been arrested, police have told US media.
Ricky Hampton, 25, also known as Finese 2Tymes, was arrested on outstanding charges of aggravated assault with a gun, the US Marshals Service said.
Gunfire was exchanged during a concert at the Power Ultra Lounge nightclub in Little Rock early on Saturday.
Police in the state capital said that no arrests had been made over the shootings. Officers have said they believe the clash stemmed from a dispute in the crowd and might have been be gang-related.
The Marshals Service said Hampton was arrested at the Side Effects Club in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was performing, along with another man. The rapper took the stage just a day after gunfire broke out as he was performing at the Power Ultra Lounge.
A total of 28 people were injured, including three in a stampede. The youngest victim was said to be 16.
Two people were in a serious condition but officials said all were expected to survive.
A message posted on the rapper’s Facebook page on Saturday offered thoughts and prayers for those injured, saying: “The violence is not for the club people. We all come with one motive at the end of the day, and that’s to have fun.”
A woman who answered a telephone number listed on Finese 2Tymes’ Instagram account for booking said he didn’t consider cancelling the Birmingham show, despite the shootings, because he wasn’t responsible for what happened.
The volley of gunfire in the Power Ultra Lounge came so fast that investigators believe many people had to have been involved.
Police Chief Kenton Buckner credited quick work by the emergency services for there being no deaths.
Courtney Swanigan, 23, said that, when the gunfire started, “I just closed my eyes, got down on the ground and put my hands on my head.”
City officials said they would move to shut down the club today under a “criminal abatement” programme.
State regulators suspended the club’s drinks licence on Saturday and a representative for the landlord’s office later posted an eviction notice on a door to the club.
The notice stated that the club must move out of the property within three days “due to your failure to maintain the premises in a safe condition”.
Little Rock mayor Mark Stodola said the city must “keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people” and suggested that people refuse to patronise clubs that seem to promote violence.