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Three injured following shooting in downtown parking lot

By Josh Bergeron
josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Three people were injured early Sunday morning following an argument that reportedly started in a hookah lounge and ended with a shooting in a downtown parking lot, according to the Salisbury Police Department.

The shooting occurred within a block that includes King Tut Cafe and Hookah Lounge, the Waterworks Visual Arts Center and attorneys’ offices. It was less than a block away from the Salisbury Police Department and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. The police department didn’t provide names of the three individuals shot during the incident. None of the three received life-threatening injures.

A Salisbury Police Department news release said officers responded at 1:51 a.m. to a call of multiple gunshots being fired in the area of King Tut Cafe and Hookah Lounge at 5 Easy Street. Witnesses told police that an argument started in the hookah lounge and ended in a fight and exchange of gunfire in a nearby parking lot.

When officers arrived, they spotted a large crowd leaving from several parking lots around King Tut Cafe and Hookah Lounge, said Salisbury Police Department spokeswomen Shelia Lingle in a news release. Officers later learned that three victims from the incident were at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center for gunshot wounds that were not life threatening.

At the hospital, two of the victims were treated for their injures. The third person had head injuries from being physically hit with a gun. The third person’s head had also been grazed by a bullet, Lingle said in the news release.

When contacted about the incident, King Tut Cafe owner Hamby Kishk contested the statement that the shooting occurred near his business. Kishk said customers had begun to leave his business as it grew closer to 2 a.m., when King Tut closes. Kishk said he heard shots fired, but it wasn’t connected to his business.

“I know somebody is saying something about it happening at my store, but that’s all fake,” he said. “I don’t know where they got that information. There was nothing in front of my building, nothing behind my building and nothing on the side of my building. Was there shooting? Yes, but it was not by my building.”

When he heard the shooting, Kishk said he walked outside of his business and didn’t see gunshots being exchanged.

Lingle said the shooting is still under investigation and no arrests have been made.

She said more information would be available on Monday morning after she compiles all reports from the shooting.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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