2 die, others fight for lives after Charlotte ‘mass casualty’ shooting

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 5:51 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Two people are dead and 12 people were hurt at a block party that led to a shooting and several people being struck by vehicles in north Charlotte early Monday.

Police are calling the incident a “mass casualty” and say more than 100 rounds were fired into a crowd of around 400 people.

Some of those hurt are fighting for their lives.

The violent scene unfolded around 12:30 a.m. on Beatties Ford Road near Catherine Simmons Avenue following an “unorganized” Juenteenth celebration.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they were initially called to the area after hearing a pedestrian may have been hit.

Officers arrived to find hundreds of people in the streets as shots went off.

“It was a very, very chaotic scene,” police said. “We’re talking about 400 people in one spot, not one witness, not one,” police said, calling it “very disappointing.”

One woman was found lying in the roadway with a gunshot wound and pronounced dead on scene. A second victim struck by gunfire was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead a short time later, police say. Police say they had to pull people off the backs of firefighters as they worked to get to the injured.

Nine people were shot, CMPD says, and two of them killed. The other seven people were taken to the hospital, along with the 5 people who were hit by vehicles. At least five of those shot were hospitalized with serious injuries, according to officials. Police say the people struck by vehicles suffered minor injuries.

Police say there is evidence of multiple shooters involved, but so far, no arrests have been made.

“Preliminary information gathered during the investigation indicates that several shooters discharged dozens of shots in to the crowd who had been gathered in the area,” police say. Police later estimated the amount of shots fired to be over 100.

At least 20 police cars responded to the scene, along with multiple medic and fire units.

Family members began to arrive as the scene developed, with emotions running high.

Witnesses say people were gathering to celebrate Juneteenth along Beatties Ford Road all weekend in a happy, peaceful celebration. Some people told our crew on scene that they saw drivers speeding and doing donuts in the road, even performing street racing. Police have not confirmed any connection to street racing.

Police say the early Monday morning incidents followed day three of Juneteenth celebrations in the area.

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