MANATEE -- Thursday marked two months since gunmen shot two people to death and wounded 22 others at the Club Elite nightclub in Palmetto.
No arrests have been made, but Palmetto Police say they are investigating two possible suspects and several “persons of interest.”
“We have a suspect we are focusing on,” Police Chief Rick Wells said. “We know we are heading in the right direction.”
Investigators said forensic evidence -- specifically, bullet shell casings recovered from the scene and sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement -- also might lead to a break in the case.
“We’ll get word, hopefully soon, if the shell casings are connected to any other crimes,” said Palmetto Police Detective Chad Oyler.
Police investigators said they have been working nonstop since at least two shooters opened fire at about 12:30 a.m. Sept. 10 into a crowd standing in front of the club, 704 10th St. W.
Trayon Goff, 25, of Palmetto, fell dead outside the club’s front door.
Gwenette Matthews, 38, of Bradenton, was found dead inside the club, according to police.
Twenty-two other people were hit by gunfire or otherwise injured during the attack, called the worst shooting in Manatee history.
Police released several still images this week that were taken from video recorded by security cameras. Detectives say they are looking for information from people in two vehicles captured by video, a Dodge Durango and an unknown type of car.
Police say they do not think the vehicles, which were on Seventh Avenue West shortly after the shooting, were involved in the melee.
“None of the people who were outside or near the club, still to this day, have come forward,” Detective Ryan LaRowe said. “All of the anonymous tips we have been getting are word-on-the-street-type tips.”
The release of the photos had generated one tip as of Thursday afternoon, Oyler said.
Investigators are urging those in the community, especially people who were at the club or near the club on the night of the shooting, to come forward with information.
In the wake of the shooting, several rallies and marches have been held in the community to encourage people to speak out against violence and to give law enforcement any information regarding the case.
The fact that certain key pieces have not been shared to this point is frustrating for the victims’ families.
“We’re still in deep mourning over the loss of Gwenette and are having a tough time dealing with the manner in which she died,” said Vicki Hunter, Matthews’ sister, via text message to attorney Alisia Adamson.
“We are extremely frustrated and disappointed that no one from the community had come forward with details surrounding the murder, such as who did the shooting or what type of vehicle the shots came from.”
The families of both Goff and Matthews have been kept in the loop since the investigation. The Matthews family recently met with both Wells and Oyler for an update.
“I think they were discouraged and they felt better after talking to Rick Wells and Detective Oyler,” said Adamson, who represents both families. Oyler “assured them he is working very hard and explained how he is working on the case.”