Suspects sought in overnight shootout at Whiskey Park North in Carrollwood

7:19 PM, Jan 20, 2013   |    comments
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CARROLLWOOD, Florida --The hunt is still on for the men who opened fire at a Bay area bar early Sunday morning.

The location, Whiskey Park North on N. Dale Mabry Blvd. in Carrollwood, is no stranger to gun violence. Another shooting happened there in the last seven months. This past July, a 23-year-old was shot and killed in the back parking lot after a fight.

Eugene Ballard, who was awakened by a police helicopter circling his neighborhood Sunday, stepped outside and shot video of what he described as a chaotic scene: police cars stretching all along Dale Mabry Blvd., up to 20 bullet casings, and blood.

"It's just ridiculous, you know, that all these shootings keep happening at this club. Somebody's gotta do something," said Ballard.

Investigators say around 3 a.m. a fight spilled into the parking lot, and words turned to gunfire. Two groups exchanged bullets. There were at least two gunmen, maybe more. Hundreds of people reportedly ducked for cover.

"There were people running through the parking lot, running down Dale Mabry, going back into the bar, trying to seek safety," said Samara Sodos with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Two people were injured in the melee. Investigators identified them as 27-year-old Yakim Williams and 31-year-old Sheldon Lillie.

Both men are from Tampa. Both are expected to be okay.

Among neighbors, the shooting raised concern. One shooting at a bar, they say, could happen anywhere. Twice, they're afraid, signals a trend.

"If it's going on that often, it makes me wonder what's going on," said John Mains, a neighbor who brought his family to a next-door restaurant for lunch.

The sheriff's office says it's concentrating on catching the gunmen, and it'll see about approaching the bar's owner and discussing security issues later.

Some who work and live in the area say when the ownership at Whiskey Park North changed several months ago, so did the clientele. And they have seen enough. "I think they need to shut this club down, because if they don't, it's gonna keep happening," said Ballard.

The sheriff's office said it's looking into how many times it has been called to Whiskey Park North in the past year.

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