CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – A Juneteenth celebration in Charlotte on Sunday night turned deadly when gunshots rang out at the event in the early hours of Monday.
The celebration, which began on Friday as a Juneteenth block party and continued Sunday night, came to an abrupt halt when multiple people were shot and others were then run over by vehicles. Hundreds of people were in attendance, officials said.
Police said the incident occurred around 12:30 a.m. Monday after officers responded to a call regarding a vehicle collision involving a pedestrian. As police were responding, officers heard multiple gunshots in the nearby area. Shortly after hearing the gunshots, police found a woman who had been fatally shot lying in the road in the 1800-block of Beatties Ford Road.
Eight other people were struck by gunfire on the road, police said. One of the eight victims was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and was pronounced dead a short time later.
Authorities said they believe “several shooters discharged dozens of shots in to the crowd who had been gathered in the area.”
Police said five people showed up at nearby hospitals and said they had been hit by vehicles at the scene. It’s believed that one of the five was the original person that officers were responding to and then four others were hit by vehicles fleeing the scene. All five people suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Witnesses told CBS 17’s sister station, FOX 46 Charlotte, the scene was “absolute chaos.”
Witness Kevin Nash told FOX 46 Charlotte that people were running and dropping to the ground when shots were fired. Nash said up to that point it had been a joyous Father’s Day and Juneteenth celebration.
Gerald Smith with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said he believes at least 100 rounds of ammunition was fired.
“What’s really disappointing is that out of 400 people who were at the party, we don’t have a single witness who has come forward,” Smith said.
Police have not said if any suspects are in custody or identified the two who were killed.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit detective. Detective Martin is the lead detective assigned to this case. The public can also leave information anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.
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