Shortly after closing time early Wednesday at Calendar Girls strip club, an argument erupted between two patrons in the parking lot, authorities said.
It ended with gunfire.
Thomas Pryor, 23, of Hudson, was critically wounded by a gunshot to the abdomen, the Sheriff's Office said.
His sister, Kellie Pryor, said later Wednesday that her brother underwent a long surgery and is expected to live.
"I don't know what happened. I don't know until he can speak to us," she said.
She said Thomas' girlfriend's sister is a dancer at the club. He had gone there to give her a ride home.
Investigators are following up leads on a possible suspect, sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said. He did not know what the argument was about, and would not comment on whether the shooter has been identified.
The case is being treated as an attempted murder, Doll said.
The shooting occurred about 2:10 a.m. in the parking lot of Calendar Girls, a topless bar at 16309 U.S. 19.
The business commonly draws calls for service from law enforcement, Doll said, but no more than any typical bar.
"We do get a lot of calls from there, but a lot of those are drunk and disorderly (complaints) or batteries - that type of thing," he said.
The last major incident was in 2006 when 19-year-old Jessica Leigh Fraccalvieri was fatally shot in the parking lot. Her friend, Christopher Hutchins, who was showing off his new gun, accidentally shot her in the neck and was later sentenced to 15 years in prison for manslaughter.
A Calendar Girls manager could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
There were other people in the parking lot early Wednesdaywho witnessed Pryor's shooting, Doll said.
Kellie Pryor said she's eager for her brother's assailant to be found.
"I just don't understand the people in this world who take out a gun and shoot somebody," she said. "He was just helping his girlfriend's sister to get home."
Molly Moorhead can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6245.