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Craig Robinson's Charlotte show halted after gun fired inside comedy club

Robinson said he was in the club's green room at the time of the shooting. The comedian took to Instagram to describe the scene.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Actor and comedian Craig Robinson's show in Charlotte was halted after a man fired a gun inside The Comedy Zone Saturday night.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said nobody was injured in the shooting. Officers said 36-year-old Omar McCombs went inside The Comedy Zone on North Carolina Music Factory Boulevard just after 9 p.m., brandishing the gun and threatening bodily harm while inside. 

Police said McCombs fired inside, and the club was quickly evacuated. CMPD said McCombs is now in custody. McCombs is a convicted felon and was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm, police report.

Credit: WCNC

RELATED: Suspect in custody after firing gun inside Comedy Zone in Charlotte, police say

Video from the scene shows people running from the area. Marvin Lindsey was one of them.

“The staff came out and they were all in a group, and they were like, 'Run!'" Lindsey said.

An anniversary celebration turned into mayhem for Lindsey and his fiancee.

“I've never seen that like that before,” Lindsey said. “I’ve never been in a situation like that with an active shooter. But that was kind of crazy.”

Robinson said he was safe in the club's green room at the time of the shooting. The comedian took to Instagram to describe the scene. 

"I'm performing at The Comedy Zone in Charlotte, North Carolina," he said. "There was an active shooter in the comedy club."

Robinson was expected to perform at The Comedy Zone just before the shooting Saturday night. The Comedy Zone announced that Robinson's Sunday show was canceled. Anyone who purchased tickets for the event will be refunded, according to the venue.

The incident does bring into question the need for tighter security measures for venues like these.

"It’s comedy," NuffCed Ultimatehost, a Charlotte-area comedian and entertainer, said. "You come out to laugh. Most people come for that purpose to share a laugh... but security has always been kind of light in comedy clubs. Not just in Charlotte but abroad as we’ve traveled."

Some want more safety measures to be put in place.

"I think having metal detectors will make people feel safer," NuffCed said. "They know what is coming in, what they had to go through to get in so they can relax and enjoy."

"I wouldn’t necessarily say metal detectors, but security wands," Clyde Austin, CEO of Untamed Comedy, said. "People being frisked and searched thoroughly. I would love to see that."

For others, the incident is a reminder to stay alert. 

"The next time I do attend an event, I will be looking for the exits or the quickest ways to get out if something happens," Lindsey said. "I'd be more mindful of that."

Some folks said this incident will not deter them from attending other events. That includes Robert Houston, who had tickets for Sunday’s show, which was canceled after the shooting.

“I’m aware of my surroundings, I’m not going to go someplace completely blind and ignorant of my surroundings,” Houston said. “So does it make me not want to do stuff? Not really. I’m still going to live my life.”

WCNC Charlotte reached out to Comedy Zone but has not yet heard back. Comedy Zone did share a post thanking its staff and the police department for the quick response.

Some Charlotte-area comedians say they’re determined to spread awareness about concealed carry rights in North Carolina through its upcoming comedy show. It's taking place at Mama's Caribbean Grill next Thursday, July 28 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“It’s important to protect yourself… you never know what is going to happen," comedian HueBaby, who is also a concealed carry trainer, said. "Especially in the spur of the moment with the way the world is now. It is best to be safe."

The goal is for more people to get the training and permits to legally carry a weapon. 

HueBaby teaches folks how to safely handle a gun through Thin Red Line Firearms.

“Plus you’ll have the knowledge on how to break it down, clean it, load the firearms, safety, locking it up, gun locks things of that nature,” HueBaby added.

They are also spreading the same awareness to those who take the stage. So far this year, they’ve had about 25 comedians trained and registered in the state.

Meanwhile, McCombs is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday morning. His bond is set at $90,000.

RELATED: Person shot multiple times in southeast Charlotte

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