The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an early-morning nightclub shooting that left two people dead and eight others wounded.
Sheriff’s deputies noticed a disturbance at Lavish Lounge on White Horse Road just before 2 a.m. on July 5 and saw a large crowd running out of the building, according to Sheriff Hobart Lewis.
A Sheriff’s Office’s spokesman reported “active gunfire from inside the building,” according to the Associated Press.
At a news conference several hours later, Lewis said a large crowd was at the nightclub for “some type of concert.” A post on Lavish Lounge’s Facebook page advertised a July 4 performance by the rapper Foogiano.
The club was open despite Gov. Henry McMaster’s executive order barring South Carolina nightclubs, concert halls and performance arts centers from opening. Under McMaster’s restrictions imposed in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, no more than 50 people can gather in a single room.
Local media outlets reported that about 200 people were inside the club at the time of the shooting, more than the maximum capacity allowed under the governor’s emergency order.
The Greenville County Coroner’s Office said Mykala Bell, 23, of Greenville and Clarence Sterling Johnson, 51, of Duncan, were killed in the shooting. Johnson was a security guard at the club.
The injured were taken to Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital, some via private vehicle, the AP reported.
On Tuesday, July 7, the Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Jarquez Kezavion Cooper in Georgia in connection with the shooting. Cooper has been charged with two counts of murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and seven counts of attempted murder. Authorities weren’t sure what led up to the gunfire but said they found a lot of blood and spent ammunition at the scene.