LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Times) — Malcolm Steward wasn’t supposed to be at Power Ultra Lounge the night of the shooting. A resident of Brookhaven, Miss., Steward was in Little Rock visiting friends when they saw the advertisement for the concert by a rapper he knew from concerts in Memphis and decided to come. The venue seemed to him like a safe place to enjoy some music.
“Before I went to the club, I checked the reviews and saw that it was a nice place,” he said. “Then, when I got there, I saw that it was in the middle of town and saw the food part and everything. I thought it was going to be a nice place.”
Steward, 23, said the evening was going fine and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, but he said he assumed there was a gang element in the crowd. “I heard them hollering a lot of gang stuff,” Steward said. “I could tell there were some gangs in there or whatever.”
Steward said he was standing in the back of the crowd close to a door when the shooting started, the shots coming from the crowd. The rush for the exits turned the upstairs room of Power Ultra Lounge into a confusing, chaotic nightmare, with people falling and being trampled. Steward raced down the stairs and sought shelter in the restaurant kitchen with several venue employees and other concert goers. Eventually, he made his way outside. It wasn’t until he was out on the street that he realized he’d been shot through the left thigh.
“I just started feeling a funny feeling in my leg,” he said. “I lifted up my pants and saw that I was bleeding. I realized I was shot. There was an officer right there and he put a tourniquet on my leg. After that I was pretty much fine. I could still walk and everything, and I’m walking right now.”
Steward was rushed to the hospital, where he was treated and released. He said he’s expected to make a full recovery and hopes to return to work next week. While in the hospital, he said he overheard police and nurses talking about all the shootings that have been happening in Little Rock in recent weeks. He said that with two security guards at the door with handheld metal detectors, he can’t understand how the handguns used by the shooters made their way into the club. “I’m from Mississippi and I go to a lot of clubs down here, and they pat you down so people can’t sneak [handguns] in,” he said. “This place, they had metal detectors and they checked you all over. I don’t even see how they got them in there.”
Though Steward was a frequent concertgoer at clubs in Mississippi, the narrow escape in Little Rock has soured him on the experience.
“I think I’m done with clubs,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll ever go to another club.”
Click here to read accounts from other Power Ultra victims.