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Two youths dead in shooting outside Florida teen party

AFP , Monday 25 Jul 2016
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Two youths were killed and as many as 16 other people injured early Monday in a shooting outside a Florida nightclub as parents were picking up their children from a "teen night" event.

Police in Fort Myers, Florida identified the dead as 14-year-old Sean Archilles and 18-year-old Ste'fan Strawder, who was described by local media as a star high school basketball player.

A "person of interest" has been detained and two other individuals were being held for questioning over the shooting at Club Blu, police said.

The motive was not immediately known, but police said in a statement "this incident was not an act of terror."

It came just six weeks after a gunman killed 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, the worst massacre on US soil since 9/11.

Gunfire erupted at around 12:30 am (0430 GMT) in the club parking lot as a "Swimsuit Glow Party" was breaking up, police, witnesses and the club said.

"As the club was closing and parents were picking their children up... That's when all this happened," Club Blu said in a statement.

"We are deeply sorry for all involved. We tried to give the teens WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A SAFE PLACE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME," it said, adding that there was armed security inside and outside the club.

Witnesses described people scattering at the sound of gunfire, ducking and running behind a nearby apartment building, with children as young as 13 reportedly among the injured.

"It was a young teen event. There were kids. The kid I was holding in my lap, he was 14 years old that got shot," Tatianna Nouhaioi, a neighbor, told ABC News.

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