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Gangs suspected in fatal Fort Worth dance studio shooting

Published 25/06/2016

Two people are dead and several others injured following a shooting outside a non-profit dance studio in Texas
Two people are dead and several others injured following a shooting outside a non-profit dance studio in Texas

Police are preparing to make arrests in connection with the suspected gang-related shootings that left two dead at a Texas dance studio.

At least five others were injured in the incident at an unauthorized party at the studio.

Fort Worth police spokesman Mark Povero said arrests are imminent and that investigators believe gang activity was involved.

An unknown number of people exchanged gunfire from the studio's parking lot and across the street. Witnesses said the shooting began when a man ran toward the door to exit the studio.

Officers found one victim dead outside Studio 74 in Fort Worth, and several people were transported to hospitals - one of whom died from his injuries.

Laura Reyna, owner and artistic director of the studio, called the event unauthorized. She said she did not even know the group of about 60 people was there until one of her instructors called her at 12:45am on Saturday to report a commotion at the facility.

An employee of the facility, Jason Moore, was working at the time and said he used a towel to compress the chest of one of the victims, who later died right outside the front door of the studio.

"He got hit in the lungs, so there was no coming back for him," Mr Moore said.

Mr Moore said several members of the group were carrying guns and he thought he heard shots fired inside as well. Ms Reyna said Mr Moore was unaware that the group was not supposed to be at the facility.

He said the shooting occurred around midnight. He rushed people out through a side door of the studio, which sits on a state highway near a police station, multiple businesses and restaurants and homeless shelters and food pantries.

Broken glass from a trophy case and plastic cups covered the floor of the studio on Saturday morning. Blood stains could be seen outside the building, near scattered chairs and garbage, including empty liquor bottles.

Studio 74's website says the facility brings "dance programming to under served communities and the general public to reach audiences and participants of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds."

"I'm very heartfelt for the family and victims," said Ms Reyna.

"It's a non-profit organization. We deal in hip hop culture and we cater to our community. It's a safe haven ... we dance, we compete. We try to stay away from events like this that happen."

AP

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