Texas dance studio shooting leaves two dead and several injured

Incident in Forth Worth occurred during a party involving a group that was not authorized to be on the premises, according to the studios owner

Officers were preparing to make arrests in connection with suspected gang-related shootings that left two people dead and at least five injured on Saturday morning during an unauthorized party at a Texas dance studio, a police spokesman said.

Fort Worth police spokesman Mark Povero said arrests were imminent and investigators believed gang activity was involved.

An unknown number of people exchanged gunfire from the studios parking lot and across the street around midnight. The shooting began, witnesses told police, 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, police said.

Laura Reyna, owner and artistic director of the studio, called it an unauthorized event. She said she didnt even know the group of about 60 people was there until one of her instructors called her at 12.45am to report a commotion at the facility.

I would consider it trespassing just for the fact that as the owner and operator of this facility I did not know, nor was there an exchange of any formal contract for people to be inside there, said Reyna, who has owned the facility for four years.

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, Moore said.

Moore said several members of the group were carrying guns and that he thought he heard shots fired inside as well. Reyna said Moore was unaware that the group wasnt supposed to be at the facility.

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

Fort Worth-based soul artist Leon Bridges has danced there, Reyna said. The walls were covered in graffiti and championship banners won by the studios in-house dance troupe.

Im very heartfelt for the family and victims, Reyna said. This is a place, its a nonprofit organization. We deal in hip hop culture and we cater to our community. Its a safe haven … we dance, we compete.

We try to stay away from events like this that happen.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/25/texas-forth-worth-dance-studio-shooting

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