Chaos on the dancefloor in Venezuela this weekend as a gunman opens fire at a packed Caracas dance party.
Four people have been confirmed dead and five injured in the shooting incident, which occurred on Saturday night at Network Noise, an electronic event held at La Rinconada Terrace in Caracas, Venezuela.
The shooting occurred at 1.30 a.m. at the beginning of Carl Cox’s set. A VJ videoing Cox’s set, who managed to capture the incident on video, described the event on the website VJ Forums: “Last night, fifteen meters from me when Carl Cox started his show and ten minutes into it someone started to shoot everyone. It sounded like firecrackers. It was so fast I didn't think was a gun. Everybody started to run like crazy.”
“I was in the main, doing my visuals and filming the show. I just grabbed the camera and started to film everything what was going on.”
The VJ describes seeing “Three dead bodies on the floor, a young guy, a woman and a man. The husband of the woman was shot as well in the leg. Several other people were as well but they managed to run.”
The names of three of the dead have been released. Vanesa Andreína Blanco Nieves (24), José Salvador Rodríguez Rodríguez (42) and Jonathan Gerardo Valero Gómez (20) died in the incident. The identity of the fourth victim, a 30-year-old male, has not been disclosed.
Five injured partygoers are also reported to be in intensive care.
Caracas radio Onda 107.9 reported today that the incident was gang related, with rival groups clashing over the sale of ecstasy.
Organisers Pacific Producciones have come under criticism in Spanish-language forums for lax security. “Everybody could carry anything in. The security company hired a bunch of kids,” wrote one anonymous poster.
The party was also unusually large by Caracas standards with 7,000 people in attendance. Unlike many sponsored events in Venezuela, the event was ticketed, meaning that security on the door allowed entry to all ticket holders.
Carl Cox issued a statement about the shooting via his website. “I am deeply shocked and still stunned by the events of Saturday. My condolences go out to victims that were caught up in the horrific act that took place at this gig, and also their families. I am informed that it was gang related, and feel so sad that anybody would act in such a manner when the event was full of 7,000 people having fun.”
“This is NOT what the dance scene is about and is a million miles away from what I want to do or promote,” added Cox.
The incident follows a number of gun incidents at Venezuelan dance parties, including shootings at a Mauro Picotto gig in 2002 and a Chris Liberator event in 2004.
Local organizers expressed concern that violent incidents such as these might discourage international talent from coming to Venezuela.
Footage of the chaotic aftermath of the incident surfaced on the Internet today, causing an uproar in the online electronic music community. Warning: Graphic content.