A man fired four shots into the air to disperse a crowd outside a city club over the weekend, Altoona police said.
It was 3:30 a.m. Saturday when about 20 people in the parking lot of the United Veterans Association club, 1809 Union Ave., tried to keep a man and two women from getting into a vehicle and leaving the parking lot, Lt. Jeffrey Pratt said Tuesday.
Police said charges were unlikely because the incident currently is being investigated as a case of self-defense. At worst, the shooter could be charged with illegally discharging a firearm within Altoona city limits, police said.
The crowd included men who had sexually propositioned one of the women when she attempted to leave the club minutes earlier, Pratt said.
"She was afraid to leave the club," said Pratt, who explained that a man inside the club and a friend of the woman's escorted her outside again.
Police said witnesses told them several people in the crowd blocked the three from leaving in their vehicle while one member of the crowd tried to hold the van's door to keep it from closing and another tried to get inside.
"The man said, 'You need to let us go, we're leaving,'" Pratt said.
When the crowd didn't budge, the man aimed a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun in the air and fired four shots, police said.
The gunfire dispersed the crowd, police said.
The man and two women spoke to investigators but members of the crowd regarded as suspects in the case "were completely uncooperative" with responding officers, police said.