PORTAGE, Ind. (CBS) — A brawl involving dozens of people at a bar led to three men being shot in Portage, Indiana early Saturday, police said.
Police were called to the Sunset Bar, at 5844 U.S. Highway 6 in Portage, at 2:17 a.m. When officers pulled up, they noticed several cars rapidly pulling out of the parking lot – some of them with their headlights off.
Officers also found about 80 bar patrons in the parking lot, many of them fighting. The officers, who were vastly outnumbered, managed to break up the fights and also learned that three men had been shot, police said.
One man from Gary was shot in the abdomen, another man from Kentucky was shot in the left arm, and a third man from East Chicago was shot in the left hand, police said.
Two of the men were taken to the hospital by the Portage Fire Department, and a third was taken by a friend to a hospital, police said.
Police tried to figure out what happened, but most bar patrons were either uncooperative or claimed they knew and saw nothing.
But police have concluded that at 1:45 a.m., there was a brawl inside the bar between about 20 or 30 people that involved tables being turned over and chairs and bar stools thrown. One Gary man was hit in the head with a bar stool and went to the hospital for a laceration to his head, police said.
Video from inside the bar last night appears to show broken glass on the floor and tables and chairs scattered and tossed.
The cause of the brawl is unknown, though there were some reports that it might have been over rival neighborhoods outside of Portage.
A bar employee turned on the lights and told everyone to leave, police said. It was believed that there were well over 100 people in the bar.
Once outside the parking lot, there were more exchanges of words between several people — which led to more fighting and what police called “an active running gun battle” as officers and crime scene technicians found about 30 spent shell casings from both handguns and rifles, police said.
The shell casings were 9mm, .40-caliber, .45-caliber, and 5.56-caliber — thus coming from at least four different guns — but no weapons were recovered, police said.
Multiple cars were hit with bullets, as were neighboring businesses, police said.
As of Saturday afternoon, there was no one in custody in the shooting — in part due to lack of cooperation from those at the scene. But police said they would continue to interview those they have identified and those who were shot in hopes of filing charges.
Police are also going to be looking at shell casings, hoping to find fingerprints for leads.
“I want to assure our community that we will not tolerate this kind of incident and we will utilize all possible resources, actions and remedies to make that happen,” Portage police Chief Troy Williams said in a news release.
Those three people who were shot were taken to nearby hospitals, but they’re expected to be okay.
Police are asking everyone who knows anything to call the Portage Police Department.