Florida Gov. Rick Scott called the deadly shooting at a teen event at a nightclub in Fort Myers “horrific, tragic news.”
“This state believes in justice. So those that have been involved in this, they will clearly be held accountable,” he told reporters Monday.
A fund has been set up for the victims, Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson said.
[Previous story, posted at 1:39 p.m. ET Monday]
What started as a beach-themed teen party at a Florida nightclub ended early Monday morning in a deadly shooting, with a 14-year-old and an 18-year old killed and more than a dozen others injured.
Parents were picking up their children from Club Blu Bar and Grill in Fort Myers when gunfire erupted outside, the club said in a Facebook post.
Sean Archilles, 14, and Stef’An Strawder, 18, were shot to death in the club’s parking lot, Fort Myers police said.
At least 16 others, ages 12 to 27, were wounded in the shooting. Of the four people still hospitalized Monday, two are in critical condition, and two are in fair condition, Lee Memorial Hospital said.
Police said the shooting was not terror-related and detained three adults in relation to it. But many other details remain uncertain.
“Investigators are working very hard to determine a motive,” Fort Myers police said in a statement. “The investigation is still very active as is the crime scene.”
‘Nothing more we could (have) done’
A flier posted on Facebook advertised the club’s “Swimsuit Glow Party” Sunday night. It said no identification would be required to enter, meaning the party was open to all ages.
Club Blu released a statement Monday saying it had tried to provide a safe environment for teens.
“We are deeply sorry for all involved,” the club posted on Facebook.
“We tried to give the teens WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A SAFE PLACE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. Ages 12-17. There was armed security as well as full security, inside and out. As the club was closing and parents were picking their children up…..that’s when all this took place. There was nothing more we could of done az you see it was not kids at the party that did this despicable act.”
Attorney Joe North, who’s representing the Strawder family, told CNN he’s looking into security concerns at the club.
The club’s owners haven’t responded to CNN’s request for comment.
Police didn’t say how many shots were fired, but the front of the club was covered with at least 36 yellow evidence markers.
“It was chaos. I saw a bunch of people running across the street,” nearby resident Jermaine Wilson said. “It’s incredible that this can happen at a teenage (event).”
Basketball star slain
Strawder was a high school basketball standout who was about to begin his senior year.
“He knew basketball was his ticket out of here, and he was well on his way,” said Bernard Edwards, a family friend whose son played basketball with him.
The teen ate, breathed and drank basketball, he said. But he was known for much more than his skills on the court.
“He would have given the shirt off his back for you,” Edwards said. “He was the most special kid, the most humble,”
Losing him, he said, feels like losing a son.
“He was always laughing and joking, just that special kind of kid,” Edwards said. “It’s going to be hard to overcome.”
More crime scenes
But the area is now “deemed safe,” a police statement said.
Authorities are searching for any suspects who may still be on the loose.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle that had a suspect in it, Mulligan added, but did not give any additional details about the stop.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced he was heading to Fort Myers to meet with officials there.
“We are still learning the details about what happened this morning,” he wrote on Twitter. “We will continue to pray for the victims and their families.”
A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled the names of victims Sean Archilles and Stef’An Strawder based on an earlier police statement.
CNN’s Chuck Johnston reported from Fort Myers, and Holly Yan wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Catherine E. Shoichet, Euan McKirdy, Shawn Nottingham and Christine Sever contributed to this report.