Police arrived at the scene which has been a hotspot for violent incidents in the recent past and found victims outside the nightclub, reported The Morning Call.
Allentown police described it as one of the worst mass shootings in Lehigh Valley in recent times and Capt. Bill Lake said that most of the victims had just come out of the nightclub or were standing on the sidewalk when the shooting happened on Thursday.
According to CBS Philly, the witness said they saw many victims fleeing the spot in panic and at least one car speeding through the scene.
Cops say multiple people injured in shooting in 300 block of Hamilton Street, Allentown.
— Andrew Scott (@AScottmcall) June 20, 2019
WFMZ reported that many emergency responders blocked the road for hours and investigators placed 17 evidence markers on the shooting spot.
All the victims were in hospital as of Thursday and everyone was expected to survive.
CBS Philly reported that the District Attorney’s office believes that at least three shooters were at the scene and that the shooting might be linked to gang violence.
Police didn’t provide any further information about the gunmen and the investigations are still on and no arrests have yet been made.
U.S. Rep. Susan Wild said she was “horrified” by the shooting. “Horrified at the news of a shooting in Allentown overnight. Thankfully, there have been no fatalities. I’m keeping a close eye on the situation and praying for the victims in the hospital,” she wrote on Twitter.
Horrified at the news of a shooting in Allentown overnight. Thankfully, there have been no fatalities. I’m keeping a close eye on the situation and praying for the victims in the hospital.https://t.co/pCZYzM66DD
— Rep. Susan Wild (@RepSusanWild) June 20, 2019
Witnesses Describe the Scene
Allentown Rescue Mission, a charity that works with homeless people is located just a few doors away from the Deja Vu nightclub.
The shelter is helping the police as it has video cameras that captured the shooting. This is not the first incidence of violence at the location, and the shelter’s managing director Dean Browning told The Morning Call that the neighborhood has increasingly become unsafe for its staff and clients.
“I wish it weren’t like this, but this is the way our society is changing,” Browning said.
“It’s one of those unfortunate situations, but this is where we are, and we just have to hope for the best that people change.”
— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) June 20, 2019
Shelter resident James Saunders said that people in the shelter have become used to violence in the area. He said he slept through the shooting but later witnessed police retrieving blood-soaked shirts from the dumpster.
A neighbor of the nightclub who wanted to remain anonymous due to fear of reprisal told The Morning Call that she witnessed the commotion from her window.
She said she saw people taking cover behind cars, friends helping victims, and that police and ambulances arrived before dispatchers had answered her own 911 call.
“EMS drivers didn’t know where to start, people were everywhere … People were screaming ‘that [expletive] started shooting,’” she told The Morning Call.
Another neighbor, Tashana Santiago, said she woke up to the sounds of the gunshots. “When everything went silent all you could hear is the screaming and panicking,” Santiago told The Morning Call. “All I could think was someone is dying.”
No arrests have been made according to CBS Philly.