2 dead, others injured in shooting during Juneteenth celebrations, amid weekend of gun violence

At least two bystanders were shot and killed during a Juneteenth celebration in Texas on Saturday night – one of several incidents of gun violence across the country. who ruined Father’s Day weekend.

An altercation between two groups of people escalated into gunfire during a free Juneteenth festival co-hosted by the city of Round Rock, police said. The event began at 5 p.m. and shots rang out at 10:50 p.m., about an hour before it was scheduled to end.

Neither victim was involved in the shooting, according to Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks, and “several” other bystanders were transported to hospitals with undisclosed injuries.

Police Chief Allen Banks speaks at a news conference Sunday following a shooting in Round Rock, Texas.KXAN

“It’s unfortunate that we’re here celebrating a wonderful event and a tragedy occurs,” Banks said. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims. My condolences go to the families of the deceased.

Police have not identified any suspects in the shooting because those involved appeared to have immediately fled the scene. Authorities asked anyone with video of the shooting or information to contact police.

Seven people were shot Sunday morning in an unrelated shooting in Methuen, Massachusetts. An eighth person was injured while fleeing.

Two of the victims were in critical condition and five others are stable, according to authorities. The victims range in age from late teens to 22 years old.

Police responded to the scene at 1:55 a.m. after receiving several 911 calls regarding shots fired.

Methuen Police Chief Scott McNamara said the violence erupted during what was described as a “car club meeting,” a spontaneous gathering of young people who find abandoned parking lots, often facilitated by the media social. Hundreds of people were gathered at this particular encounter and no suspects were identified.

These gatherings have been a problem in the area in recent years, according to McNamara, but do not usually escalate to this level of violence.

“They are certainly a concern for our community in terms of quality of life,” McNamara said. “Usually these encounters consist of really loud music, disorderly conduct, sometimes drinking, vaping, that sort of thing.”

Officers have already monitored social media to break up gatherings, issue trespassing charges and track known “hot spots.” The location of this shooting, the parking lot of a shopping area, was not a known meeting point.

Essex County Prosecutor Paul Tucker told reporters that authorities were collecting a large volume of ballistics evidence. He did not specify the number but said it appeared to be fewer than 100 bullets.

“When you think about the ballistic evidence that we’re recovering, it’s incredible that more people aren’t injured or killed,” Tucker said.

Several other shootings took place over Father’s Day weekend, including one at a Michigan park that left nine people injured. An 8-year-old and a 4-year-old were among the victims in what appeared to be a random shooting at a paddling pool.

Two people were killed and two others injured at a nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, early Friday morning after a verbal altercation, city police said.

A man died in a shootout with police in Tampa Saturday night after barricading himself in a home and killing his parents. He also allegedly injured a deputy, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

Last month, during Mother’s Day weekend, at least 11 people were killed in shootings across the country. About two weeks later, dozens of people were killed or injured in shootings over Memorial Day weekend.

NBC Chicago reported that at least nine people were killed and 41 injured in shootings across the city over the weekend. Three shootings in St. Paul, Minn., left 10 people injured between two graduation parties and another holiday gathering, according to NBC affiliate KARE.

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