FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – There was a deadly shooting overnight at the Blue Martini lounge in the Galleria Mall.
Fort Lauderdale police said there was an altercation Wednesday inside the lounge shortly before midnight and someone opened fire. Arriving officers found one person dead on the scene, two others were rushed to Broward Health Medical Center.
A family member of the injured told CBS4 that it was a brother and brother-in-law that were shot and one of them passed away at the hospital. Police have not confirmed the second death.
Police identified the man who died as Arnold Person who would have celebrated his 44th birthday on Thursday.
A witness said the two men were part of a group of friends honoring the birthday of a friend who recently died of cancer.
“I don’t know how to feel, we just went to her funeral a month ago, so this is crazy, like I don’t know how he’s going to take it. Anyone in the family. It just ain’t right,” said family friend Mark Hunter.
Hunter was at Blue Martini with victim. He said seconds after the gunfire the shooter was slammed to the ground.
“I saw the brother-in-law on the ground, we were trying to contain him, he was panicking. We looked to the left and the brother was laying there and the shooter was laying next to him. So I guess people jumped on him to stop him from shooting more people, that was a good thing. So they just jumped on him to get him and another dude picked the gun up,” said Hunter. “He was beat up because people was trying to stop him from shooting other people.”
The group held the man down until the police arrived and took him into custody.
Fort Lauderdale Police are still putting the pieces together. They say it appears the shooter and Person had some type of argument.
They spoke to the man who fired the gun and they are looking for more information.
“There have been no arrests made at this time,” said Det. Tracy Figone with Fort Lauderdale Police. “Detectives are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident.”
Hunter said the group drove to the bar from Miami because they thought it would be safe.
“The club let everyone in without searching them, they let me in without searching me, that was wrong. I’ve been coming to Blue Martini for a while, that is the reason I left Miami to come up here because we thought it was safe and it wasn’t safe,” he said.
In response to the shooting, Blue Martini issued the following statement:
“We are committed to the safety and security of our valued guests. This isolated incident is the result of an altercation that took a tragic turn. We applaud the Fort Lauderdale Police for their quick response which led to one suspect in custody. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased victim and two others who were injured.”