A man carrying an assault weapon fired into a crowded bar in Tuscaloosa, Ala., shortly after midnight Monday, injuring 17 people and leaving chaos in his wake, officials said.
In a televised news conference, Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson said the gunman was still being sought after the shooting around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Copper Top bar. Anderson said police believe the shooter was targeting a specific person when he opened fire through a window with what was described as a "military-type assault weapon."
The shooter then fired at fleeing patrons. He never entered the popular bar.
Police have released a video showing a person walking toward the bar carrying a weapon. The shooter is described as a stocky white man, about 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9.
After the shooting, the suspect left on foot but may have taken a vehicle later, police said.
"We’re actively looking for suspects," Anderson said, adding that police were seeking civilian help in identifying the person on the videotape. "We have increased our presence in that area."
At least 11 shots were fired, the police chief said, though it was unclear how many of the 17 people were injured by a bullet or from the glass and fragments of masonry from the shooting.
One person remained hospitalized in extreme critical condition and three others in serious or critical condition, Anderson said.
Three of the 17 injured were students at the nearby University of Alabama, he said.
Riley Dunn, a University of Alabama senior who was injured in the shooting, estimated that there were 80 to 90 people in the area at the time. One gunshot rang out, then about 20 seconds later "that’s when he really started firing them off" and everyone scattered, Dunn told local reporters.
The bar is near a downtown square in an area that’s home to several nightspots and is popular with students from the university.
"They were very blessed they were not killed," Anderson said of those in the bar.
)2012 Los Angeles Times
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