Sunday, May 31, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A 24-year-old Springfield man faces murder and other charges after a weekend shooting spree inside a city strip club.
Marcus Blanton, 24, opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol near the bathrooms of Club 418 just after 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, police said.
Five people were shot, and a sixth victim was found with a stab wound. One of the shooting victims, a 23-year-old man, later died at Baystate Medical Center. The other victims were hospitalized with wounds that police called serious but not life-threatening.
The victims' names had not been released by Sunday afternoon.
Police found two guns at the scene but did not have a motive for the shootings.
"He came out of the bathroom and just started shooting," said Springfield police Lt. John Bobianski.
Massachusetts State Police Community Action Team members were in the area and were able to arrest Blanton as he was leaving the club, he said.
Blanton was charged with murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and several other crimes, he said.
Springfield attorney Daniel D. Kelly, who represents the club, told The Republican of Springfield that the two employees may have been injured in the shooting and expressed the club's condolences to the all the victims.
"We're reviewing our safety procedures," he said. "Unfortunately, no safety procedure is flawless and we'll continue to review our procedure when all the facts of are known."