LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Little Rock elementary school teacher is recovering in the hospital after a club shooting she calls preventable.
Monique Norman is one of three people hit and injured by bullets inside Club Empire early Saturday morning.
The club was hosting an after-party for actor and comedian Mike Epps, who just performed at the Verizon Arena. The 33-year-old mom of two says she stopped by with family hoping to meet Epps.
“We were just going for a meet and greet,” she said. “It was like a stampede all of this happened in like 60 seconds.”
Little Rock police say a fight inside the club escalated to gunshots, with Norman caught in the crossfire.
Norman believes club-goers’ safety was jeopardized and is questioning the security in place. She says there were metal detectors at the doors, bag checks and security wands so she doesn’t understand how someone slipped a gun inside.
“Something went wrong somewhere,” said Norman. “We walked through the metal detector as soon as we came in and then they checked our purses and bag.”
The club posted ads on Facebook for the event which stated, “security strictly enforced.”
At past events the club hired off-duty police officers as added security, but according to Little Rock police club management did not feel that was needed for this event.
Norman will forever carry a piece of the violence with her. The bullet that hit her became lodged between bone, and she says doctors explained removing it could cause severe complications.
“I have a bullet in me. It fractured and broke my pelvic bone,” Norman explained.
Those injuries will keep her from returning to her Geyer Springs Elementary classroom this school year. Norman says it’s a cost she can’t afford, especially on top of growing medical bills.
While the mom is grateful she’ll eventually walk away from this violence, she knows she’ll never fully recover.
“I definitely didn’t know a gunshot wound feels that bad,” she said. “You don’t imagine how it feels, how they bruise, how it heals.”
Even with her injuries, Normans says no one from Club Empire has reached out to her.
“I don’t want this burden on me because it could have been prevented,” she said.
KARK 4 News reached out to club management but has not heard back.