DJ after club shooting: ‘Just balloons popping’

WPRI-TV/Corey Welch
WPRI-TV/Corey Welch

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A DJ at the downtown nightclub where a double shooting occurred early Saturday morning told patrons “it was just balloons popping” and continued to play music as police entered the club to investigate the incident.

Club Karma, the nightclub at which the incident occurred, appeared in front of the Providence Board of Licenses Monday, where its owners agreed to keep the club’s doors closed until at least Thursday.

Kenneth Leslie, 24, and Rodney Hoskins, 26, were rushed to Rhode Island Hospital after they were shot inside the Richmond Street club, according to a police report obtained by WPRI.com. Police say both victims are from Massachusetts and have gang affiliations.

No arrests have been made.

According to the report, police heard the DJ tell patrons that the shots fired were just balloons popping even though officers didn’t see any balloons in the club. Officers said they also heard bouncers repeating the DJ’s comments. Police then forced the DJ to turn the lights on and music off.

Corporate filings reviewed by WPRI.com list the club’s president and vice president as local restaurateur Gianfranco Marrocco and former state Rep. Peter Petrarca, respectively. Petrarca is a prominent lawyer who regularly appears in front of the city’s liquor board to represent other club owners facing disciplinary action.

Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan

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