A rare shooting inside a South of Market club over the weekend is bringing attention back to nightlife violence in San Francisco.
The first of three separate shootings happened inside 330 Ritch at 360 Ritch St. early Saturday. In total, three people were injured and police are still searching for suspects. The victims, including the most critically injured man, are expected to survive.
Police responded to the shooting about 1:30 a.m., said Officer Carlos Manfredi. Officers found three men, two in their 20s and one in his 30s, suffering from gunshot wounds.
The reason behind the shooting is still under investigation, but Manfredi said it appears there was an argument inside the club and shots were fired. The argument then spilled out onto the street and shots were fired there too. A third shooting occurred in a parking lot half a block away at Brannan and Third streets.
“We have three separate crime scenes,” Manfredi said. “There were so many things occurring at one time.”
Manfredi said video surveillance is being reviewed.
No suspect descriptions were available and police are trying to determine how many people were involved.
“At this point, everyone is a suspect,” Manfredi said.
Though rare, shootings have taken place inside San Francisco nightlife venues. In 2009, two men were shot inside Broadway nightclub Impala; in 2010, a 23-year-old man was shot inside Cafe Cocomo in Potrero Hill.
Manfredi said 330 Ritch is not commonly a venue that draws violence. The Entertainment Commission, which regulates nightlife, is expected to investigate the club and hold a public hearing this week with its owners. Requests for comment from club management were not returned Sunday.
Since the previous shootings, the Entertainment Commission has strengthened its tactics to deal with and prevent nightclub violence. It also has gained more power to regulate venues in order to prevent such occurrences.
“For the most part, these incidents are happening outside of venues but occasionally do happen inside,” Jocelyn Kane, executive director of the Entertainment Commission, has said. When they do happen, she said, “we are quick to use the tools” to regulate problem venues.