Man Fatally Shot Outside Nightclub in Big Bear Lake

After a 43-year-old woodcarving artist was found suffering from a gunshot wound outside a nightclub in Big Bear Lake early Tuesday morning, investigators made an arrest.

The accused shooter was identified by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department as Frank Popovich, 53, of Big Bear.

The victim was identified by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department as James Clark, who died at the hospital after the shooting.

The shooting was reported around 1:15 a.m. at AV Nightclub in the 600 block of Pine Knot Avenue, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies said Popovich and Clark were acquaintances, and got into a fight in the nightclub.

The argument appeared to spill out into the back parking lot of the club where at least one shot was fired.

Clark was taken to the hospital after he was found lying on the ground.

Friends of Clark said he was well-liked in the community, and were shocked to learn of his death. 

"He never seemed to have problems with anybody," Rusty Myers, the victim's friend, said. "He was always getting along with everybody. You'd see him in the store, he'd come and shake your hand and ask you how you are doing."

Investigators combed the area with metal detectors searching for a weapon.

"It is very shocking. It's scary," Sandy Strickland said. "It doesn't happen up here. It's a very safe town."

Popovich was booked on suspicion of murder, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said. Deputies were still investigating a possible motive.

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