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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Two US states hit by deadly Halloween shootings

Violence erupted at parties in Indiana and Florida, though the circumstances of both incidents remain murky

At least three people were killed and 26 more wounded in two separate shootings at Halloween parties in Florida and Indiana early Sunday morning.

Two were killed and 18 more injured when shooting broke out during a fight between two groups outside a bar in Tampa, Florida, around 3am on Sunday morning, police told reporters at a press conference hours later.

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It was a disturbance or a fight between two groups. And in this fight between two groups we had hundreds of innocent people involved that were in the way,” Tampa police chief Lee Bercaw stated.

Video from the scene shows many of those bystanders dressed in Halloween costumes drinking and talking outside a strip of bars and clubs before the shooting began. Many then panic and stampede, while others take cover behind toppled-over metal tables.

One male suspect turned himself in, while at least one more shooter is believed to still be at large. The dead were both reportedly adult males. Tampa police were on the scene when the shooting began and are still investigating the reason for the dispute.

Gunfire broke out early Sunday morning at another Halloween party in Indianapolis, Indiana, leaving one person dead and eight more wounded. Police had not yet determined how many shooters had opened fire or why as of Sunday afternoon.

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Several people have been detained and investigators are still working to determine their exact involvement in this incident,” Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Samone Burris told local media on Sunday, adding that several guns had been found.

Police, responding to reports of a large party after midnight with over 100 people, arrived to hear shots fired and saw a large crowd attempting to flee the area, Burris said.

An adult female was pronounced dead at the scene and others were taken to nearby hospitals. The victims were reportedly between 16 and 22 years old.

There are far too many guns in the hands of those who have no business having them, and shocking violence is too often the result,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a statement on Sunday, affirming that police would “hold fully accountable those who have chosen to settle disagreements with firearms.”

On Friday, military-trained firearms instructor Robert Card, suspected of killing 18 people in two separate incidents in Lewiston, Maine, earlier in the week, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot following a 48-hour manhunt.

US President Joe Biden has renewed his push for gun control legislation, including a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and universal background checks for gun purchases. The US has already seen over 500 mass shootings so far this year, according to the nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive.