'My kids will be crushed,' dance studio owner says after shooting
Two people were killed and five more wounded after an altercation at an unauthorized party led to gunfire outside a nonprofit dance studio east of downtown Fort Worth, according to police and the club’s owner.
Officers found one victim dead outside Studio 74, and several people were transported to hospitals — one of whom died from his injuries, Fort Worth police spokesman Daniel Segura said in a statement.
The shooting occurred just after midnight, and Segura said homicide detectives were investigating Saturday morning at the studio, located at 2466 E. Lancaster Ave., near a police station and multiple businesses and restaurants.
An employee — Jason Moore, who lives in quarters at the back the building — said he heard 15 to 18 gunshots in rapid succession.
“I was upset,” Moore said. “It was like — not here. Not here.”
Studio 74 website describes it at as a place that brings “dance programming to under-served communities and the general public to reach audiences and participants of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds.”
Laura Reyna, who has owned the building for four years and the studio nonprofit for seven years, was emotional as she looked around the large dance floor, littered in places with broken glass, red solo cups and other debris.
Anyone who witnessed the shooting or who may have information on the shooters is encouraged to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 817-469-8477 or the Fort Worth Homicide Unit at 817-392-4300.
Reyna said she and Moore were deceived by a mutual acquaintance who told Moore he had Reyna’s permission to open the doors to for the party, which started about 11 p.m.
Police said an argument occurred at the party and as one person attempted to run out of the warehouse, shots were fired.
“An unknown number of people with firearms began shooting at each other outside of the warehouse and from across the street,” police said in a news release.
Homicide detectives were being assisted by the Gang Unit to determine if gang members were involved, the news release said.
The studio focuses mostly on children for daytime lessons in hip-hop, ballet, jazz and modern dance, Reyna said, although she does space for events. But there was no contract for the group to be at the studio on Friday night. The presence of alcohol or illegal drugs would have been expressly prohibited.
Reyna started Studio 74 as a nomadic business, teaching dance lessons and city recreation centers. After a few years, she bought the building, with her parents help, from a man who liked the idea of it being used for kids.
“The saddest thing is that my kids that will walk in will be more crushed than anything,” Reyna said, fighting back tears. “Because they built his place, local artists here have built this place ... for somebody to come in and take advantage on my kindness, it’s a really sad thing.”
I was upset. It was like — not here. Not here.
Jason Moore, resident at Studio 74
Moore said he was in his quarters — where he lives to provide a 24-hour presence at the building — when he heard a commotion growing into violence. He said he quickly ushered people out the side of the building while a confrontation was pushed into the front parking lot, where the gunfire erupted.
On Facebook, Studio 74 posted a statement Saturday morning: “To all studio family, fans and supporters, first I would like to thank all of you for the calls, concerns and prayers that have been sent my way. I’m writing to respond to your concerns in regards to the incident that occurred in the parking lot of Studio 74. We as dance family had no involvement with the incident that occurred last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Please continue to pray for them.”