Vista shooting suspect was performing at shuttered club on night - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Vista shooting suspect was performing at shuttered club on night of shooting, source says

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John Earl Bates, Jr. (Source: Columbia Police Department) John Earl Bates, Jr. (Source: Columbia Police Department)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A dispute outside a nightclub in Columbia’s Vista that led to eight people being shot followed a musical performance inside the club by one of the shooting suspects.

A source close to the investigation says John Earl Bates, Jr. performed at the Empire Supper Club shortly before the gunfire broke out early Saturday morning.

Bates is a hip-hop artist who goes by the name Hun Dunn.

While further details surrounding the shooting remain unclear, Columbia Police Department investigators know the shooting included an exchange of gunfire between Bates and another man, Maleik Houseal, just outside the club at Lady and Park Streets.

Police charged both men and two additional suspects.

As a result of the shooting, the Empire Supper Club was declared a nuisance by police Chief Skip Holbrook, who ordered the doors chained shut.

The City of Columbia revoked the club’s business license on Thursday.

Bates remains held on charges including seven counts of attempted murder in connection with the shooting.

Attorney Bakari Sellers, who represents the club’s owner said Friday he is not sure whether the city’s decision will be appealed.

Sellers, who was in New Mexico, said the city had not served him with a copy of the order revoking the club’s business permit.

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