Violence Mars Juneteenth Holiday Weekend around U.S

This Juneteenth holiday weekend has been marred by violent crime throughout the states, but especially so in blue metropolitans like Chicago.

Over in Chicago, in fact, a crowded,  300+ late Saturday night celebration specifically for Juneteenth turned into a violent affair with 20 shot, one of them fatally.

“Battalion Chief Joe Ostrander with the Tri-State Fire Protection District said the shooting took place about 12:30 a.m. [Sunday morning] on Route 83 near Honeysuckle Rose Lane. A large group was gathered in a strip mall parking lot for a Juneteenth celebration that turned violent, witnesses said,” according to station WLS.

“Fire officials said at least 10 were shot. A DuPage County Sheriff’s Office official said later Sunday morning that 20 had been shot, one fatally,” the station reported.

According to witness Markeshia Avery, things weren’t supposed to be like this.

“It was supposed to be like a Juneteenth celebration; we just started hearing shooting, so we dropped down until they stopped. They just kept going. After that, we literally scattered away,” she said.

“We just heard gunshots; at first it was one, but then it was a whole bunch of gunshots. After then we started running like, ‘yo.’ I looked at my friend, and we took off, running like crazy,” another witness, Zaviar Sheikh, added.

“We were all just out, and, next thing you know shots just kept going off; everybody ran, and it was chaos,” a third witness said.

Of those hit, one died and two were in critical condition.

Meanwhile, over in St. Louis, Missouri, ten juveniles were shot, one of them fatally, during a shooting early Sunday morning.

“According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the shooting took place at 14th and Washington Avenue around 1:45 a.m. Sunday morning. A total of 10 juveniles were reported shot and one has been pronounced dead,” station KMOV reported.

“Witnesses say the shooting took place inside one of the buildings. News 4 is working to learn more details of what unfolded, as well as the condition of the remaining nine victims,” according to the station.

Next up is Washington state, where five people were shot, two fatally, near a music festival, according to Kyle Foreman, the public information officer with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

“There is an EDM festival, Beyond Wonderland, happening at the Gorge Amphitheatre this weekend. The concert is still actively going. The sheriff’s office says the incident took place in the campgrounds on the opposite side of the concert stages. The shooting happened at around 8:20 p.m.,” according to local station KREM.

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“Foreman said after the shooter fired into a crowd, they then walked away from where the incident happened. Law enforcement then entered the area to track down the shooter. Foreman went on to say that the shooter then continued to shoot randomly into the crowd, and the suspect was eventually taken into custody.”

Then there’s Pennsylvania, where two state troopers were shot, one of them fatally, during a shoot-out Saturday afternoon.

“Police in Juniata County said a man engaged troopers at about 12:45 p.m. near the Lewistown barracks and shot one trooper, who was taken to a hospital with serious injuries,” according to the Times Leader.

“Authorities found the man shortly before 3 p.m. in Walker Township, about 26 miles northwest of the initial incident. The shooter and a trooper were then killed during the resulting shootout, state police said in a news release. Officials said Saturday evening that there was no threat to the public,” the paper reported.

And finally, in California, eight people were shot, two critically, during a house pool party around midnight.

“A 16-year-old woman who was shot in the arm said a loud fight broke out in the middle of the street outside the party. When she went inside, gunshots were fired and people started to run. Another gunshot victim tried to drive away from the scene, but crashed into a house around the corner, destroying a brick wall and fence,” station KABC reported.

“Like 30, 40, gunshots went off cars went passed. A lot of dogs barking, kids screaming, everybody asking for help. It was just a lot, it was tragic. Right when you walked outside it was like a movie,” one witness said.

According to a neighbor, the shooting occurred after a male was denied entrance into the pool party, and an argument erupted.

“So they said that he left and came back with a gun,” the neighbor said.

By Melinda Davies
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