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Authorities Search for Culprits in Florida Nightclub Shooting that Left Two Dead and 22 Wounded


Palmetto police say at least one assault rifle was used in a nightclub shooting that left two people dead and another 22 wounded.

Police said Sunday that at least one AK-47 was used in the shooting based on what witnesses told investigators and evidence collected at the scene. Police have not yet released a motive for the shooting. No arrests have been made.

NBC 8 video on the shooting:

Police said at least two shooters opened fired shortly after midnight Saturday at the Club Elite. The two killed were identified as 25-year-old Trayton Goff of Palmetto and 38-year-old Gwenette Matthews of Bradenton. Matthews was struck by a bullet as she was with her sister inside the club, and Goff was killed while he was sitting against a wall outside.

Another 22 club-goers were hit by gunfire and taken to area hospitals. Fox News reposts that about 70 to 80 rounds were fired in the shooting and police have recovered spent 7.62 x 39-mm. cartridge cases.

One club promotor told reporters, "I was on the floor trying not to die."

"I was between one who got shot in the back of the head and one that got killed and one gentleman that got Bayflighted (airlifted) out," said Chip Hunt to Reuters.

Hunt indicated that the shooters appeared to be targeting Goff among the estimated 150 people inside the club Friday night.

This is not the first shooting death at Club Elite according to My Fox Tampa. In December 2003, 23-year-old Breon Mitchell was gunned down by Tavarious China Smith. Murder charges against Smith were dropped by prosecutors in February 2004, arguing that Smith acted in self-defense.

The venue was open Friday for people over 25 and had a dress code for the "GrownSexy" event. The Tampa Tribune reports that police have visited Club Elite dozens of times this year on incident calls according to a Palmetto Police Department log.

Palmetto is just south of Tampa Bay and north of Bradenton.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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