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One person dead, two in custody, after shooting at Altoona nightclub
ALTOONA, Pa. -- A night out at a strip club in Altoona turned deadly when gunfire erupted late Thursday evening. It happened at the Choice's night club along 6th Avenue. There are two men in custody, including the suspected shooter.
Neighbors who live near the club told 6 News Friday they're generally scared. Several of them said the club has been a problem for years. They said they've seen shootings in the past, but said Thursday night was the first time they remember someone being killed.
Altoona police said they were dispatched to the night club around 1130 p.m. Thursday for a report of shots fired. When they went inside, they said they found William Solomon, 22, dead.
"I can tell you Mr. Solomon had one gunshot wound, but there were multiple shots fired," said Lt. Jeffrey Pratt of the Altoona Police Department.
Police said the owner of the club cooperated and immediately handed over surveillance video that shows the entire event as it unfolded.
"There first appears to be an exchange of words at the night club between the actors on the surveillance video," said Pratt. "There are at least two firearms that were involved in the altercation."
It was that video police said helped them track down Solomon's alleged killer, Hugo Baez, to a car in Tyrone. With help from state police they followed the car into Huntingdon County and pulled it over on traffic violations.
"He refused to waive the right to be arraigned in Huntingdon, so he'll be arraigned on our charges there," said Pratt. "He'll be permitted to post bail, but will then be brought back to Blair County to face criminal homicide charges."
In the meantime, neighbors told 6 News the nightclub has been a hotspot for crime for years and they want it shut down.
6 News also talked with the manager and several workers at the club Friday, that they now call "Club Nxt." They said they've only been operating for about three months and have made significant security changes. They said what happened Thursday was beyond their control, but said they considered Solomon part of their family.
Altoona police said they do have a second man in custody, Brandon Mitter, who they said was driving the car they found Baez.