Five people were stabbed and one man was shot during a 100-person brawl outside a nightspot in Gaithersburg early Sunday morning, Montgomery County police said.
Police aren't sure what caused the melee, but Scott Smith, the head of security at the New Red Rock Cafe on Muddy Branch Road said an altercation began about 1:30 a.m. between two women. The cafe hosts rap concerts every Friday and Saturday night and tends to draw a large crowd; Saturday's "Rapper Karaoke Night" was no exception.
The two women began fighting inside the cafe after one woman pushed another, said Smith. The fight soon escalated when male patrons got involved.
Smith said the situation quickly grew tense -- within "90 seconds," patrons were throwing chairs and bottles -- one of which sailed through a window at the cafe. Then attendees poured into the parking lot, he said. Cafe representatives called police when they heard gunshots, Smith said -- four, in rapid succession.
"There were probably 100 people in that group," Smith said, surveying the parking lot on Sunday afternoon. "It was very scary -- I was standing right here."
One man, a young adult from the District, sustained a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was taken to a local hospital. Five men received non-life-threatening stab wounds and were also taken to local hospitals. A young woman took herself to a medical center after suffering lacerations during the fight, and another man was struck with a blunt object, police said. Others on-scene sustained minor injuries but refused treatment.
Hours after the fight on Sunday, the parking lot outside the cafe remained strewn with blue surgical gloves. A discarded bandage lay on a blood-stained sidewalk across the parking lot. Smith, stationed outside the cafe, warned passers-by to be careful of the shards of glass that lay beneath two broken windows.
Police said they haven't determined a motive for the brawl, and witnesses on-scene were uncooperative when police asked for help locating potential suspects. A news release from the department didn't indicate whether police had made any arrests on the scene.
Smith said he isn't sure why the fight escalated. He emphasized that the cafe has never had problems of this nature and works to maintain tight security.
"We pat them down [before they come in], and when they leave the patio, they get patted down again," Smith said. "We're very aggressive toward weapons."
Regardless, Smith said the cafe will stop offering rap concerts entirely after Sunday's altercation.
"It's just not worth it," he said.
Anyone with information about suspects connected to the shooting and stabbings should call Montgomery County police at 240-773-6237. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest or indictment in connection with the incident.