Md. man killed, 6 hurt in Pa. speakeasy shooting

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2009 4:50 PM

A fistfight at a crowded speakeasy touched off a shooting that killed a man, and six people were wounded in an ensuing gunfight, authorities said Monday.

"This was an outright gun battle," Berks County District Attorney John Adams said. "With the number of guns that were fired and the amount of gunfire, we are fortunate that only one person is dead."

About 100 people were packed into the illegal club in Reading on Sunday when a fight broke out around 3:20 a.m. Someone pulled a gun and Richard Gonzalez, 28, of Prince George's County, Md., was shot and killed, police said.

But the shooting wasn't over. As people walked out of the club a few minutes later, a car pulled up and an unknown gunman got out and fired into the building, officials said.

Others still inside fired back, Adams said.

Six people were wounded in the exchange of gunfire. One victim remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and the other victims sustained less severe injuries. Police are not identifying the victims or releasing details of their injuries.

"This incident was tragic and it's reprehensible in a civil society to have a shooting of this magnitude," Adams said.

As many as four different shooters may have been involved, according to police.

The speakeasy operated out of a row house in northwest Reading, about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia, investigators said. Authorities are still trying to reach the owner of the building, who does not live locally, Adams said.