As Landon Shaffer was driving by The Station nightclub in Roseville late Friday night on his way home from playing basketball, he thought he heard people setting off fireworks in a parking lot.
Then he saw people running away from the nightclub in fear. He realized what he actually heard was a flurry of gunshots.
Dee Dee Gunther, spokeswoman for the Roseville Police Department, said a group of young men got into an argument inside the club, which was hosting a hip-hop dance night. The shooting took place at 11:42 p.m., after they went outside. She said she wasn’t sure how many people were involved in the fight, but three people wound up shot. None was seriously wounded, and all three have since been released from area hospitals.
After passing by the scene of the shooting, Shaffer circled back around and picked up “five or six” people who were hiding at a Shell gas station across the street from the nightclub. He drove them to safety farther down Auburn Boulevard.
Shaffer did not recall exactly how many shots he heard, but said they happened in rapid succession. When he returned to the parking lot across the street from The Station to drop off the nightclub patrons at their car, Shaffer said he saw blood all over the lot. He later saw one of the victims, who was bleeding but conscious. He said the victim was African American and looked like he was in his mid-20s.
“For it to happen in Roseville, I was truly shocked,” Shaffer said. “My heart was racing out of my chest. To hear those gunshots going off that fast, and seeing all those people fleeing. ... It was terrifying.”
Shaffer said the patrons in his car were convinced about the cause of the shooting.
“The (nightclub patrons) in my car were from Sacramento and the Bay Area,” Shaffer added. “They said it was absolutely gang-related, and obviously when you have Sac and the Bay Area, gang-related, it doesn’t mix.”
Gunther said three vehicles left the scene, but it is unclear whether the shooters were involved with those vehicles. She confirmed what Shaffer heard, saying many shots were fired. She said police are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related.
“It’s a scary situation when you have that much gunfire,” she said. “We’re very fortunate to only have had three people hurt.”
Gunther said police have interviewed all the employees and patrons who were in the nightclub when the shooting took place, but encouraged anyone at the nightclub who remembered any additional details to contact the Roseville Police Department.
“Roseville is a very safe community, and we’re going to work as hard as we can to get to the bottom of this,” she added.
Patrol cars blocked off entrances to the area around The Station nightclub Saturday morning as police combed the area for evidence. The roads were reopened at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Since there were no shots fired inside of the nightclub, the club’s DJ Omar Torres said The Station would open for business at 8 p.m. Saturday night. On Saturday afternoon, the club was urging people to show up for salsa night. Torres said club management would not be commenting on the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation.
The Station, tucked next to Interstate 80, is known for dancing, with multiple dance floors and special salsa nights. With the nightclub being just blocks away from residential areas, noise has been a concern. Gunther said Roseville police received complaints about noise and littering complaints a few years ago, but haven’t heard anything negative about the property recently.
Over the years, its owner has had legal conflicts with the city of Roseville, which has said the neighborhood is not zoned for dancing. Gunther said the nightclub sued the city and won the case. In a decision upheld by an appellate court, the Placer Superior Court dismissed 19 citations and $8,800 in fines against the business, according to an article in the Roseville Press Tribune.