GREENSBORO, N.C. — Greensboro Police say a 21-year-old approached a crowd of people in downtown Greensboro early Friday morning and started firing a gun.
Officers arrested the suspect, Micaiss Goddard, charging him with six different counts, including two counts of assault with intent to kill.
Police believe Goddard was targeting a specific person inside club Inferno on South Elm Street. Officers say he missed his intended target but injured two other people.
The shooting happened around 2:30 a.m., as patrons were leaving Inferno for the night.
Captain Joel Cranford said the suspect fired toward Inferno from the sidewalk on the outside of the building.
Greensboro Police tell FOX8 six officers who were patrolling downtown at the time of the shooting heard and saw the shooting, and demanded the suspect drop the gun.
Police say Goddard dropped the gun and ran on foot, but he was apprehended nearby.
Cpt. Crawford said the two victims had non-life-threatening injuries but had to go to the hospital for treatment.
The shooting comes as Greensboro City Council members work on an ordinance to make downtown safer.
Some of the suggestions for the ordinance include, strengthening requirements for trained security staff at clubs with a capacity for 150 or more people.
City Council member Zack Matheny heads up the task force working on a compromise that would both be fair to club owners and meet the need for safety police are pushing for.
“If people feel safe downtown, more people will come downtown,” said Matheny.
“And that is good for restaurants, bars and clubs in downtown Greensboro overall.”
But, he admitted, an ordinance would likely not prevent isolated incidents like this morning’s shooting.
“In this instance, an ordinance probably wouldn’t have come into play. An ordinance doesn’t stop hate, and it certainly doesn’t stop stupidity.”
Some college students, like Ashton Strickland, say incidents like this shooting are exactly why she does not frequent downtown clubs.
“I feel like it’s very immature how people just walk up to somewhere in a public environment and start shooting people, shooting anybody. This is exactly why I don’t come out to parties, bars, clubs. I’m scared!”
Other people FOX8 talked with say they generally feel safe downtown Greensboro.
Police say there will be officers patrolling Greensboro as usual today for First Friday.