Two State Department officials were injured this morning during a shooting at a strip club in Venezuela, but the State Department told reporters that neither injury is “life-threatening.”
“We can confirm that two members of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas were injured during an incident early this morning,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters. “Medical staff inform us that their injuries do not appear to be life threatening. Embassy security and health unit personnel are at the hospital and have been in touch with the two individuals and their families, but we have no further details to provide at this time about the incident.” Ventrell emphasized that the shooting happened “off-site,” rather than at the State Department embassy.
A local law enforcement official said that one person was shot in the “leg and abdomen” while the other was shot in the abdomen, per the Associated Press. “Apparently it was a fight originating in a nightspot where these people were attacked and shots were fired at them and they suffered gunshot wounds,” police spokesman Douglas Rico told Globovision (a Spanish-language TV channel), per AP.
Ventrell refused to say if the staffers were shot at a strip club. “My understanding is that this was at some sort of social spot or somewhere outside of the Embassy grounds,” he said during the briefing today. “I’m not sure if it was a restaurant or a nightclub or what the actual establishment was.”
The Associated Press reports that the shooting took place at a strip club called Antonella 2012, citing State Department and local police officials. “A Spanish sign saying ‘gun-free zone’ and with a pistol crossed out was posted next to the entrance,” the AP noted. “Another sign said the club doesn’t allow entry to couples, unaccompanied women or anyone under 30 years old.”