Multiple witnesses who were inside a Berkeley County nightclub early Sunday say a woman celebrating her friend's birthday was killed by a stray bullet after a fight broke out between members of a motorcycle club and other customers.
Several punches were thrown and at least 10 bikers chased a man outside the Moonshine Saloon into the parking lot, witnesses said.
April Infinger and Aubrey Cade's husbands shielded them from the commotion as they searched for a safe way to exit, Cade said. Cade then hugged Infinger to say goodbye and to thank her for surprising her with a birthday celebration at the club.
Just as they let go, Cade said, she heard a pop and watched as her friend dropped to the ground inside the bar. She turned to look and saw that a bullet had come through the wall from the parking lot.
"She fell to her knees and she never came back up," Cade said.
Infinger, 32, of Goose Creek, died at a local hospital shortly after she was shot in the back about 12:48 a.m., Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury said.
The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting at the club, located at 216 Myers Road in between U.S. 17A and U.S 52, but released few details Sunday about what happened inside.
Capt. Rick Ollic said Sunday night they're still investigating the shooting and that more information would be released Monday.
Cade and two other witnesses, who asked not to be identified because they feared for their personal safety, all gave similar versions of the events that led to the shooting.
Cade said they were in the back room with the stage when a man and woman sitting nearby were swarmed by a group of men. Words were exchanged, and the woman threw the first punch, she said.
"It was a brawl from there on out," Cade said.
Two witnesses said the bikers belonged to the Misguided Motorcycle Club. The man ran out of the club to try to escape the bikers, who were right behind him. He was running for his life, they said.
Cade and Infinger hugged and let go. They were about 5 feet from the wall when Cade heard the "pop" and saw her friend fall and try to catch herself.
"She starts to say, 'Oh my God. Oh my God.' That's when I turned to see where the sound came from," Cade said.
The carpeting on the wall, which was used for darts, was frayed inward, she said. She looked back at Infinger and saw blood coming from the back brace she had been wearing since she had back surgery five weeks earlier.
"We were just at the wrong place at the wrong time," Cade said.
A patron who is a nurse and a bouncer did mouth-to-mouth and CPR until authorities arrived, she said.
Cade said Infinger, the mother of a teen, was a wonderful woman who loved to be around people. She had thrown a baby shower for Cade's second child, and on Saturday surprised Cade by showing up at the birthday celebration with Cade's husband, who had been out of town and wasn't expected back in time.
It was Cade's first time at the club, which also was the scene of a beating death in August 2011. Two men were charged with manslaughter in that case.
Reach Andy Paras at firstname.lastname@example.org.