Florida shooting: Gunman opened fire as parents tried to pick up their kids

Catherine Healey

Parents who arrived to collect their children from a social 'teen event' were met with a hail of bullets as a gunman opened fire in Florida, killing two teenagers.

Up to 16 other school-aged youths were injured in the shooting at Club Blu nightclub in Fort Myers.

Three people have since been detained in the second Florida shooting in just over a month, after Omar Mateen killed 49 people at Orlando's Pulse nightclub in June.

Mourners gather at the Florida scene. Source: AAP

Fort Myers police have released the names of the two killed in the gunfire - 14-year-old Shawn Achilles and 18-year-old Ste'fan Strawder.

Ste'fan was at the party with his sister, Sharrelle, 19, who suffered a wound to her leg.

The three detained are not believed to be kids at the event. Children as young as 12 are reportedly among the injured as the gunman opened fire at a 'teen night' inside the club.

Four teenagers are currently in a critical condition.

Timothy Settles, Victim of the Club Blu shooting in Fort Myers. Source: Facebook/Timothy Settles

Another victim of the shooting, Timothy Settles, posted on Facebook Live direct after the incident while recovering.

“I don’t [wanna] die,” he wrote, before logging onto Facebook Live, showing himself heavily bandaged in a hospital room.

Six hours earlier, before he and dozens others were gunned down, Settles had had written: "Club Blu tonight" with a sunglass-wearing emoji.



Fort Myers police confirmed three people have been arrested, including one at a nearby home which is being treated as a second crime scene.

At this stage, no charges have been laid, but police confirmed the incident was "not an act of terror or terrorism".

Police have cordoned off the parking area around Club Blu. Source: AAP

Club Blu has issued a statement, labelling the attack as a "despicable act".

"We are deeply sorry for all involved," the statement read.

"We tried to give the teens what was a safe place to have a good time.

"There was nothing more we could have done."

The club said it had armed security at the event, both inside and outside the building. The attack happened as the party was closing and parents arrived to pick up their children.

The gunfire broke out around 12.30am local time, with nearby residents reporting tens of shots.

"Upon arrival, officers located several victims suffering from gunshot wounds," a police spokesperson said.

Some of the gunshot victims at Lee Memorial Hospital are being treated for life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Fort Myers police confirmed one of the trio had been detained at a nearby property, which is being treated as a second crime scene.

Forensic markings at the Florida crime scene. Source: Christina Carilla/Twitter

A third crime scene has been set up where witnesses reported shots being fired from a black four-wheel-drive.

"The Fort Myers Police Department and Lee County Sheriff's Office are actively canvassing the area looking for other persons who may be involved in this incident," a spokesperson said.

"At this time, the scene is still very active as investigators and crime scene personnel attempt to determine what had occurred."

Police at the Fort Myers scene. Source: AAP

Other witnesses reported the scene as a "mad house", claiming at least a dozen shell casings remain at the scene.

It's believed the shooting started outside the club, with parked cars sprayed with bullets.

Local Juss Olivia said it was lucky she and her friends never made it inside the club.

"Me, my sis, her best friend, my best friend was literally inches from gettin' shot," she said in a social media post.

Ms Olivia said she and her friends hid under her car as the gunman opened fire.

"We were sitting in the car because they shooting," she said. "Five people were running and they were still shooting ... so we hid under the car.

"They were just running and shooting.

"You see a whole bunch of kids just running over into the apartments (across the road)."

Parent Syreeta Gary said her daughter made it out of the club alive, but her daughter's friend wasn't as lucky, getting shot in the leg.

"It's ridiculous these kids can't even go out and enjoy themselves," she said, in a Twitter video.

"She was running away from bullets so she wouldn't get shot."

Police say they are still working to establish a motive behind the attack.