Five protesters stood on bloodstains on Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia on Sunday, hours after gunfire erupted outside the Trilogy nightclub on Sixth Street.
The group held up signs reading “Stop the killing” to passing motorists. They were one fewer than the six people shot earlier when a gunman fired into a crowd at 3.23am, wounding four women and two men. A 26-year-old woman, who was shot in the chest, was initially in critical condition but improved to stable after surgery, police said.
“We are here to raise awareness of this gun violence in the city,” said Preston Davis, with activist Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network. “We need more people to come out.”
Police Captain John Walker said the shooting started after two men got into a fight inside the club as it held a Halloween-themed event. As the club took people out for the night, the men kept arguing outside and their argument turned into a physical fight between men and women.
Finally, one of the early opponents pulled out a .40 caliber handgun and began firing, injuring the man he had originally argued with – and others too.
“When a lot of bullets are flying, there are no names on them,” Walker said.
Walker said it appeared the shooter, who escaped, was the only shooter. Police said they made no arrests and recovered no weapons.
The men who were injured were a 37-year-old man who was shot in the lower back and a 29-year-old man who was shot in the foot. The other three female victims were a 20-year-old shot in the back, a 31-year-old shot in the thigh and ankle, and a 30-year-old woman who scratched her head and feet.
“They will survive,” Walker said.
Pennsylvania Liquor Commission public records indicate that Trilogy is licensed to sell liquor until 3 a.m. under the name Palmer Social Club. His last liquor code violation was in 2011, records show.
Shawn Kelly, a spokesman for the liquor control agency, said Sunday that these clubs are supposed to admit only members who have gone through an application process and operate as a non-profit business.
On its Facebook pages, Trilogy advertises itself as “Philadelphia’s premier place to party” and appears to be open to everyone. “Tell a friend tell a friend!!!” it advertises.
The club offers a variety of “bottle service packages,” the most expensive of which costs $1,500 and provides patrons with three hookahs, two bottles of champagne, and four other bottles of premium liquor. The place enforces an “upscale and chic” dress code, he says.
A man who answered the phone at a number listed for club management on one of its two Facebook pages declined to identify himself or speak about the shooting.