LAUDERDALE LAKES (CBS4) – Two people are dead and ten are wounded after an armed confrontation turned deadly inside a Lauderdale Lakes club.
It happened just after 3 a.m. Thursday morning at the South Rock Lodge Bar and Grill located at 3670 N State Road 7.
According to witnesses it started when two men had a confrontation as 50-75 people packed the club, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
As the confrontation grew more heated, Vishna Beepot, 26, allegedly pulled a gun on Junior Lodge, 35 and shots began to ring out.
“We were in the club enjoying ourselves, all of a sudden, we just heard shots,” said witness Ryan Hewitt.
Surveillance video shows dozens of people fleeing the club were fired. At least two victims are seen on tape being helped from the scene.
“It’s like the running of the bulls in Spain,” said one club-goer who did not want to be named. “Just imagine — shots being fired, people running, police coming. It was chaotic.”
Investigators say at some point Beepot pulled a gun after a argument with Lodge.
When the club’s security guard saw this, he pulled his own gun and the situation exploded. More than a dozen shots were fired as those inside the club scrambled for cover.
“I was like in the corner and there were six other persons around me,” Hewitt said. “If a shot came through, it had to come through six other people to hit me.”
A friend of Lodge’s said the situation started after Lodge spoke with a female friend of Beepot’s.
“When he (Lodge) went back inside, then the guy confronted him with a gun, shot him in the stomach,” said a female witness who didn’t want to be identified.
As the gunman went down, the woman said he continued to spray bullets across the club.
“After he fell to the ground, I guess when he was dying, he held on to the trigger and everybody else got shot,” said the female witness.
Beepot was rushed to Broward General Medical Center where he died. Lodge died in the club. The security guard was not injured in the chaotic scene as people ran from the bar.
The injured were taken to four different hospitals. Five, including Beepot, went to Broward General Medical Center, four went to Florida Medical Center, one went to North Broward Medical Center and one went to Plantation General Hospital.
BSO said one woman, Anna Layne, 49, had critical injuries, the others had non-life-threatening wounds. Layne underwent surgery Thursday evening. A family member told CBS 4 News that following the surgery she was alert and talking.
Club-goers were searching for answers as to how the shooter got into the club with his handgun in the first place.
“You have security searching everybody at the gate; so how can a man get inside the club when there is security searching everybody,” Hewitt asked.
BSO Detectives are also trying to get an answer to that question.
Investigators also said with the number of people in the small club, it’s surprising more people weren’t hurt.
“When you have 50 to 75 people in a small area and bullets start flying, there’s not a whole lot of place to escape and get away from those gunshots,” said Detective Scott Champagne.
BSO has 12 detectives working on the case and are still trying to determine what the confrontation was about.
Detective Champagne said that at this point it appears the security guard fired in self-defense.
The family and friends of Junior Lodge are left to mourn the death of a man who had recently put his life in order and was ambitious about moving forward.
“He was just an innocent person who got shot for no reason,” his female friend said.
If you have any information about the shooting, call Broward County Crimestoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).