Fayetteville, N.C. — Fayetteville police were searching for clues Friday to determine the cause of a shooting outside a nightclub that left two dead and two others injured.
Officers were called about 2 a.m. to Mickey's Gentlemen's Club, at 5121 Bragg Blvd., where they found four people in the Carolina Square parking lot who had been shot. They were all taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where a man and woman died.
Police identified the dead as Cornelius Tobias Jackson, 26, of the 1700 block of Gilmore Street, and Melissa Yamile Neal, 24, of Lumberbridge.
Latoyia Whitted, 20, of the 1600 block of Gibson Street, was also shot. Police said her injuries were not life threatening.
Another man, John Mills, 40, of the 1900 block of Forest Drive, was trying to leave Carolina Square on a motorcycle when he crashed during the chaos, police said. He was listed in stable condition Friday.
Police Chief Harold Medlock said investigators think the shooting happened after an altercation that started somewhere else between two groups of people that know each other. He said specific people were targeted in the shooting.
"We don't believe that it started inside any of the nightclubs," Medlock said. "We believe that, for whatever reason, one group came upon another one, and the problem or issue escalated and turned into gunfire."
No arrests have been made, but several people were being questioned, Medlock said. Authorities also spent several hours inspecting cars in the parking lot of the club, several of which had bullet holes in them.
"We have vehicles in the parking lot that were struck by gunfire, and we've located vehicles in other parts of Fayetteville that we believe were, at this point, involved in this situation," he said. "We have multiple crime scenes that we are attempting to put together and make some sense of."
Medlock said known gang members were among the crowd in the parking lot, but investigators do not believe the incident is gang-related.
Zef Medina works at Shooters Supply next door to Mickey's. He said the parking lot is often a trouble spot.
"At night, it gets really rowdy," he said. "Usually, we're leaving when all the bars open up. The thing we notice in the morning is the leftover trash, the alcohol containers."
The shooting investigation wasn't the only one keeping law enforcement busy Friday.
Police said a 19-year-old man waiting for a ride in the parking lot of the Lake in the Pines apartment community was shot and killed Thursday night after being approached by two others in a white vehicle.
Police responding to a report of a gunshot found Dontez Lamar Woods at about 9 p.m. in the complex off Rosehill Road. He was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
During a news conference Friday afternoon, Medlock expressed frustration at the level of gun violence in the community.
"The general public, in the City of Fayetteville, if they're not involved in a high-risk lifestyle and high-risk activities at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning, they shouldn't worry that they'll be involved in a crime like this – unless they're in the path of a stray bullet that an idiot would fire," he said.
Medlock exhorted young people to "put the guns away."
"I’m tired of the gun violence by young people who do not know what they are doing," he said.
Anyone with information about either shooting should call the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1856 Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477.