Gunfire erupted inside a crowded nightclub in Cincinnati early Sunday, killing one person and wounding more than a dozen others.
Just after 1 a.m., officers responded to calls of shots fired at Cameo NightLife, located in the 4600 block of Kellogg Avenue, according to police.
Sixteen people were shot, one fatally, officials said at a news conference Sunday morning.
Authorities identified the victim who died as 27-year-old Obryan Spikes. The other 15 victims were taken by ambulance or drove themselves to area hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to serious, police said.
One victim remained in "extremely critical condition," according to Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac.
Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate initially tweeted at 5:21 a.m. that only one shooter had been reported, though authorities later said they believed multiple people opened fire in what started as an argument.
“Several local men got into a dispute inside the bar and it escalated into shots being fired,” Isaac explained, adding that the club does “wand individuals and pat them down, however, what we know at this point, several firearms were able to be brought inside the bar.”
“The conflict is believed to have begun between specific groups of individuals earlier in the day, escalating to the nightclub tragedy,” the City of Cincinnati’s official account tweeted.
No one was in custody as authorities continued to investigate.
Police said there was no indication that the shooting was terrorism related, though Mayor John Cranley said that did not make the incident any less devastating.
"There is no evidence that this was a terrorist attack," Cranley said, "However, to the victims, what difference does it make?"
"This is a country where you should be able to go out and have a good time and not be in fear of getting shot," he added. "This is a tragedy that has struck other cities and now has hit Cincinnati."
Hundreds of people were in the nightclub when the shooting occurred, authorities said, many of whom fled the scene, making it difficult for investigators to identify witnesses.
"The biggest problem when you have a large crowd like this and the shots ring out, a lot of the witnesses disappear," Capt. Kim Williams said, adding that the scene became "just a lot of chaos, obviously, when shots were fired.”
"Saturday night, it is a very young crowd. We have had incidents here in the past, but this is by far the worst," she said.
Cameo's Facebook page says it caters to college students on Friday nights, when anyone over 18 is allowed in, while Saturdays are "grown and sexy night" for ages 21 and older.
Full parking lots added to the mayhem, Sgt. Eric Franz told the Cincinnati Enquirer, as first responders had problems initially reaching the victims.
Several off-duty officers were working security at the club; some performed first aid and tried to revive the person who died, police said.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said on Twitter that he was "saddened to learn about last night's shooting" and offered assistance from the state.
Authorities asked anyone with information on the incident to contact police, while Cincinnati restaurateur Jeff Ruby offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible.
“We need to identify the shooter or shooters in this case,” Cranley said. “We must bring the shooters to justice.”