Gunfire at Mankato club leaves 1 dead, 3 injured

MANKATO, Minn. - Mankato police say gunfire broke out in the parking lot of a club, leaving one person dead and three others injured.

The shooting happened Sunday just before 2 a.m. at the Kato Entertainment Center.

The shooting happened in the parking lot as an event inside was winding down. A 21-year-old was arrested for carrying a gun without a permit, and two others were arrested for disorderly conduct.

Mankato Public Safety Commander Jeremy Clifton says police had been called to the club minutes before the shooting call came in. He says staffers called back to say things were under control, but then another call came in a short time later.

The three people who were wounded are expected to survive.

Two Minnesota State - Mankato students told KARE 11 that they were at the Kato Entertainment Center Saturday night. They said it was an event that followed an on-campus party organized by Sudanese students. They described it as a chance to celebrate African youth.

"It was just a fun night. We were celebrating with our friends, celebrating their culture and experience," one of the students said.

But the scene quickly changed. Witnesses said it was a chaotic scene with as many as 300 people running in all directions.

The KATO Ballroom released a statement on Sunday.

"We here at the Kato Ballroom are deeply saddened by the events of last evening and express our sincerest condolences to the family of the deceased. Our hearts go out to the family of the young man who lost his life. We commend the police for their quick response and are working with them to assist in the apprehension of those responsible."

The owner said that the there was no alcohol served at the event.

Neighbors say the wedding receptions and fundraisers held at the center are always peaceful and police agreed.

"When you boil it down, it's going to be the few parties that had direct involvement in the disturbance and the gunshots those are the people who we want to find and bring criminal charges against," said Clifton.

Police said that is has been at least three years since the last fatal shooting in the city of Mankato.


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