A fun night out turns into a nightmare for patrons at Toucans Tiki Lounge as police and witnesses said a man opened fire near the parking lot of the night club, leaving two injured and a terrifying scene inside.
The Palm Springs Police Department released a statement where it said the shots rang close to the last call on the night of March 24th. By the next morning, videos on social media showed people hiding inside the club behind bar stools and tables.
The scene escalated when a fight inside was broken and taken outside by lounge staff, minutes later an unidentified suspect opened fire and injured two people. Police said the two victims went to a local hospital with minor injuries.
One of the videos circulating social media pages shows a man inside Toucans with blood visibly coming from his left thigh as bystanders circled around the man in attempts to help.
Joey Valenzuela is the co-owner of “Not so Innocent”, an adult store next to the lounge, he said fights are nothing new.
He said, “Many fights, not just at Toucans, but yes at Toucans, plenty of them.”
But he said the latest level of violence in the Palm Springs nightlife is different.
The incident at Toucans comes as another Palm Springs nightclub, Zelda’s, was temporarily shut down for 45 days by the city as it claimed the owners need to improve security.
For his part, Valenzuela partly attributes these incidents to substances.
He said, “More and more drug use, more alcohol use, people are already drunk or high by the time they get to the bar.”
A manager for Toucans Tiki Lounge, Michael Spain, released this statement addressing the incident, “The safety of our customers is our number one priority. The police and our team are still looking into the incident, and have no further information to share at this time.
The Palm Springs Police Department said they are searching for a Latino man between 21-25 years old who was wearing a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants and a black had. He was identified as having a thin mustache and a tattoo on the left side of his neck.