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Rick Scott, Pam Bondi headed to Fort Myers after teen club shooting

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Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi said they are meeting with Fort Myers-area law enforcement Monday after a nightclub shooting there.

Gunfire erupted at Club Blu, which was hosting a swimsuit-themed party for teens, leaving two dead and at least 17 wounded, according to reports.

The incident happened more than a month after a nightclub shooting in Orlando that was the deadliest in modern U.S. history. The Pulse nightclub shooting June 12 left 49 victims dead and 53 others wounded.

“Following the horrific news of a shooting at a nightclub in Fort Myers, I spoke with Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson, Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott and Fort Myers Interim Police Chief Dennis Eads to offer any assistance from the state,” Scott said in a statement.

“I have canceled my scheduled events today to meet with law enforcement and local officials in Fort Myers,” he added. “While we are still learning the details about what happened this morning, we know that some of the victims of this terrible incident were children. We will continue to pray for the victims and their families.”

Added Bondi: “As the investigation into this night club shooting continues, I will be in Fort Myers today to meet with law enforcement and offer assistance to victims and their families suffering in the aftermath of this tragedy.”

The Florida Attorney General’s Office offers grief counseling and victims services to victims of violent crimes including assistance with burial expenses and medical bills, her statement said.

The violence at Club Blu erupted about 12:30 a.m. Monday, police said.

A post on the club’s Facebook page Monday morning said the shooting happened as the club was closing and parents were picking up their children. The post also said there was armed security at the event.

“We are deeply sorry for all involved,” the post read. “We tried to give teens what we thought was a safe place to have a good time.”

Three people remained hospitalized Monday morning, according to Cheryl Garn, a spokeswoman for Lee Memorial Health System. All others were treated and released.

Two people brought to two other area hospitals were also treated and released, Garn said. Ages of the patients ranged from 12 to 27, Garn said.

The club is in a strip mall that includes a daycare center and is across the street from a large apartment complex. Officers had the area taped off as crime scene technicians scoured the strip mall parking lot for clues.

State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, the Republican who represents Fort Myers in the Florida House, said she too “will be working with community leaders, citizens and law enforcement to bring the perpetrators to justice and find a way to restore peace to our community.”

“I urge anyone with any knowledge of the shooting to call the local authorities with any information, either in person or anonymously,” she added. “Now is the time to come together as one Fort Myers!”

The Associated Press contributed to this post, reprinted with permission

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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