Two people were killed and seven others were wounded in a shooting in North Carolina’s largest city, police said, while five others were hit by vehicles afterward.
The shooting happened around midnight at an “impromptu block party” that was a continuation of Juneteenth celebrations, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings told reporters early Monday.
Police responding to a call about a pedestrian hit found hundreds of people in the streets, Jennings said. As emergency services arrived, several shots were fired, scattering the crowd.
Officers found a woman with a gunshot wound laying on the ground when they arrived just after 12.30am (local time) - she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to news site wsoctv.
Another victim was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound but later died for their injuries, the site reported.
Disturbing video shared to social media appeared to reveal the moment the shooting began, with crowds of people running from the scene as loud gunshots are heard going off.
Jennings said there was evidence of multiple shooters, but no one was in custody as of Monday morning (local time).
The five people were hit by vehicles while running away, Jennings said.
The conditions of the 12 people hospitalised with injuries weren’t immediately clear.
The shooting took place in northern Charlotte, police said.
Images from the scene showed an abundance of skid marks on the road, with 20 police vehicles reportedly responding to the chaotic scene.
#BreakingNews— Taylor Simpson WBTV (@TaylorSimpsonTV) June 22, 2020
A very hectic scene on Beatties Ford Rd near Catherine Simmons. There are over 20 CMPD vehicles on scene and multiple medic and fire units are also here.@WBTV_News pic.twitter.com/U49gD4BTPH
“Several people got into the streets. It was a continuation. They had a celebration here that was planned and organised earlier this week on Friday that just continued on into tonight,” Jennings said, according to wsoctv.
“The results of it got out of hand. It was something that we never want to see as a community or a police department. It is very unfortunate.”
Juneteenth, for which celebrations started Friday, commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago.
The incident was the second fatal shooting in Charlotte within just one hour Sunday night, with another happening just before 11pm in University City, WSOC-TV reported.
A man was killed in the common area of an apartment complex, according to police.
with Associated Press
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