Four hurt in shooting at strip club in Anaheim

An injured person is wheeled to an ambulance after a shooting at the Sahara Theater club in Anaheim.

Four people were wounded in a shooting at a strip club in Anaheim early Saturday, authorities said. None of their injuries was believed to be life-threatening.

Shots were fired from a passing sedan into the Sahara Theater in the 1200 block of South State College Boulevard about 1:35 a.m., said Sgt. Shane Carringer, public information officer with the Anaheim Police Department.

Between 30 and 50 people were inside the club at the time, though many had left by the time officers arrived to investigate, Carringer said.

Four people suffered what appeared to be gunshot wounds that ranged from minor to moderate in severity, Carringer said. One man refused medical attention, and two men and one woman were taken to area hospitals, he said. One or two of them had been discharged by later Saturday morning, he said.


Police were looking for a bright red, newer-model Honda sedan from which the suspect opened fire, Carringer said. No description of the shooter was provided.

There was no word on a motive, and police reported no arrest as of Saturday morning.

“We just really don’t know much about it still,” Carringer said. “We have a bunch of leads we’re following up on, but right now, it’s largely still a very active investigation.”

Anyone with information was asked to contact Anaheim police.

Orange County is currently in the red tier of the state’s four-phase plan for relaxing coronavirus restrictions, meaning the risk of transmission is still considered substantial. But some nonessential businesses have been permitted to resume indoor operations.

Carringer said he believed the strip club was allowed to operate, provided it served food.

Darwin Cheng, assistant director of the environmental health division of Orange County’s Health Care Agency, said in a statement that the agency would forward the matter to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control “for evaluation and assessment.” He noted that the division’s authority over clubs is limited to their food operations.

A similar situation arose earlier this month when San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham was stabbed outside a Midway District strip club. San Diego County is also in the red tier.

Officials said then that strip clubs that serve food can be considered restaurants, which are allowed to operate with some restrictions in counties classified in the red tier. But strip clubs are not permitted to operate as bars or live entertainment venues in those counties, which means that people can’t drink without eating, and dancers can’t perform pole or lap dances, they said.