Two people were shot outside Whiskey Park North Bar in Carrollwood early Sunday morning as hundreds of bar patrons were leaving at closing time, Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said.
The scene was chaotic, deputies said, as people scurried for cover, trying to escape flying bullets in the parking lot shared with Jason's Deli and Edwin Watts Golf shop.
Yakim Williams, 27, of Tampa was one of the men wounded, suffering graze wounds to his head and bicep.
"Just in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said from his home. Sunday morning. He had been treated at a hospital and released.
Williams said he doesn't know what sparked the shooting and that he didn't know the people who shot him.
Detectives are far from figuring exactly what happened, said sheriff's spokeswoman Samara Sodos.
"The more they investigate this," she said, "it gets a little more unclear."
What is known is that a man began shooting at a group in the parking lot at 3 a.m. as the bar, at 11921 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., closed and about 200 bar patrons were leaving.
It is unclear if there was more than one person shooting, Sotos said.
The men took cover behind a Mercedes-Benz, which belonged to someone visiting from Gainesville, Sodos said. The luxury car was hit by 10 rounds and was impounded to gather evidence.
Another parked car also was hit, shattering a window and mirror, she said.
As many as 20 shell casings were found by deputies, she said. It was unclear if the two wounded men were targeted or innocent bystanders, Sodos said.
Williams and the other wounded man, Sheldon Lillie, 31, of Tampa, were taken to a hospital for treatment. Williams was released, but Lillie, shot in the shoulder, was admitted, Sodos said. She would not say which hospital he was in.
The scene was described as bedlam as bar patrons sought safety by either running down Dale Mabry or going back inside the bar, Sodos said.
"It was an absolutely chaotic scene last night," she said. "We're grateful that the injuries were not more serious," and that no one else was wounded or killed.
Detectives continue to follow leads and were reviewing surveillance video from the scene that captured some of the events.
The manager of the club said there were no fights or problems inside or outside the bar that he knew about before the shootings, the sheriff's office said.
Whiskey Park North was the scene of another shooting seven months ago in which a 23-year-old patron was killed in the parking lot, also at closing time.
"Obviously, we are concerned about this," Sodos said. "We are concerned any time violence and gunfire happen at a night club."
In July, outside Whiskey Park North, Pablo Bonilla was fatally wounded in the bar's parking lot and a friend of his also was wounded but survived.
Deputies said that Bonilla saw his girlfriend talking to a man in the bar and that led to a confrontation, which ended in gunfire outside. Less than a week later, Kenny Silva, 33, was arrested in New Jersey and charged with the homicide.
The Whiskey Park North shooting early Sunday morning is the second bar shooting within a month in which gunfights took place. On Dec. 21, a patron of the Boomerang Martini Bar in Brandon was shot and killed by a security guard after the man opened fire on other bar patrons.
About 500 people jammed into the bar for a reggae concert and an argument that began over a lost purse ended in the death of Louis Kuilan-Maysonet, 28. Two others were wounded.
In the past year, authorities have been called to investigate incidents at the establishment more than 150 times. In addition to 50 calls to patrol the club, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has responded to 17 disturbances, 16 assault/batteries, eight criminal mischief reports and six vehicle burglaries among other calls for service.