Huntington City officials discussed their response to the New Year’s shooting at the Kulture Hookah Bar. The shooting, which happened in the early hours of New Year’s Day, sent 7 people to the hospital for gunshot wounds. Police say it was a chaotic scene when they arrived, with people intoxicated and many others screaming.

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams and Interim Police Chief Ray Cornwell held a press conference at Huntington City Hall at 3 p.m. on Thursday, January 2, 2019. While there still have been no arrests in the shooting, Mayor Williams has turned the city’s eyes on the business where it happened. Williams says the business was not operating like they initially said it would, and the city is taking action.

The mayor says city officials have placed a temporary cease and desist order on Kulture Hookah Bar. Initially, the business said they were operating as a retail store and Mayor Williams says they now know that wasn’t true. Williams also says the business had not paid any taxes.

Mayor Williams says he’s going to take action with the city council regarding how the board of zoning appeals operates. He also wanted one point made perfectly clear, “Of course Huntington is safe. Our crime has been declining every single year. It’s the safest city in the region without fail. This is why we’re doing this is that… frankly, I’m angry.”

As far as the investigation is concerned, Interim Chief Ray Cornwell says it is still fresh and they are still working leads. But he stands by this not being a random act of violence. He says multiple law enforcement agencies were investigating possible crimes going on at Kulture Hookah Bar, but at the time of the shooting none had developed into any action they could take.

Interim Chief Cornwell says they are still looking at forensics and have not named any suspects in yesterday’s shooting.