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5 people stabbed outside University City hookah bar

Police say the incident began with a fight inside Red@28th and spilled outside into a parking lot, where five people were stabbed and shots were fired.

Five people were stabbed early Sunday in a fight that began inside a hookah bar in the University City area, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said.

Officers said they responded around 2 a.m. to Red@28th, where the fight spilled into the parking lot of the bar at 9539 Pinnacle Drive. Two of the victims had life-threatening injuries and had to be taken to the hospital, police said.

Shots were also fired during the parking lot fight, but it appears no one was hit by the gunfire, according to police. Police said Sunday they were interviewing witnesses and victims to identify a suspect or suspects and learn what caused the fight.

It’s the second incident near Red@28th within the past month, according to Observer news partner WBTV. On March 3, a person was shot outside the bar following a confrontation, the station reported.

Red@28th owner Darren Vincent told the Observer he was not at the bar Sunday and doesn’t know what prompted the incident. But he said he’s grown concerned in recent weeks about suspicious activity taking place late at night in the parking lot, which he said he doesn’t own.

“We’ve seen cars exchanging stuff,” said Vincent, who also owns Red@28th in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood. “My employees are worried about that parking lot a lot.”

Vincent said he’s planning to increase security at the Pinnacle Drive location and is seeking to hold a “town hall” meeting, possibly this Wednesday, with police and community leaders.

“My job right now is to stop this from ever happening again,” said Vincent, who opened the University City location about three years ago and the NoDa site about eight years ago.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or go to http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.

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