UPDATE – 11:30am: 13 News learns from Huntington city officials “…are aggressively investigating whether Kulture had all of the required licenses and permits and whether it was complying with these licenses and permits.”
UPDATE – 10:43am: Huntington Interim Police Chief Ray Cornwell releases statement on shooting, increasing the number of victims from five to seven. He also says there are no fatalities. Adding the incident started inside the club and moved outside, Cornwell stated witness say this was “a dispute between individuals and was not a random act.”
UPDATE – 9:37am: Huntington Mayor Steve Williams releases statement; “Any incident of this nature in the downtown or in any of our neighborhoods is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We are waiting for law enforcement investigators to provide more complete information about this incident before we determine the next steps.”
HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Huntington Police Interim Chief Ray Cornwell says seven people were shot in the early hours of Wednesday, January 1, 2020.
It happened around 1:30 a.m. at the Kulture Hookah bar in the 1100 block of 4th Avenue in downtown Huntington. Dispatch reports indicate people were screaming in the bar as the shots were fired.
Police on scene say around 50 people were inside the Kulture Hookah Bar when they arrived on scene.
Cornwell says the victims were inside the bar when they were shot, but police are unsure if the shots came from inside or outside the bar. According to police, a trail of blood is visible from the front door all the way to the back of the bar.
In a statement to 13 News, Cornwell says according to witnesses the incident started inside the bar and then continued outside. “(I)nitial information suggests that this stemmed from a dispute between individuals and was not a random act” said Cornwell.
At least eight shell casings were found by police directly outside the bar, and at least five more were found in the parking lot across the street.
According to Cornwell, an entertainer was at the bar at the time of the shooting and had personal security with them.
“Any incident of this nature in the downtown or any of our neighborhoods is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Huntington Mayor Steve Williams tells 13 News. “We are waiting for law enforcement investigators to provide more complete information about this incident before we determine the next steps.”