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Shots fired into a crowd of hundreds left three dead, eight injured

DALLAS (AP) – Three people were killed and eight others injured when several men fired indiscriminately into a crowd of hundreds that had gathered in a Texas neighbourhood following a festival in the area, authorities said on Tuesday.

No arrests have yet been made or suspects identified in the shooting at about 11.47pm on Monday in the Fort Worth neighbourhood of Como, police said. Police said none of the injured are suspects in the shooting.

The shooting erupted about two hours after the end of the Independence Day celebration called ComoFest in the historically Black neighbourhood. That celebration had been held in a park a several blocks away from the area where the shots were fired.

Police said on Tuesday that the shooting on Horne Street, where a large crowd had gathered, was “separate from and unrelated to ComoFest”.

A chaotic scene followed the shooting as people tried to flee on foot and in vehicles as shots rang out, according to authorities.

Police said arriving officers found multiple victims in a parking lot, including one who was pronounced dead at the scene. Others were taken to hospitals by ambulance or private vehicles.

People gather for the annual Fourth of July parade in the Como neighbourhood in Fort Worth, Texas at United States. PHOTO: AP
Police arrive at the scene of a deadly shooting. PHOTO: AP

Paul Willis, 18, was among those killed, his mother, Ka’Desha Weatherly, told The Dallas Morning News. Weatherly told the newspaper that after hearing what sounded like 100 gunshots late on Monday, she began running down the street to find her son and nephews.

She found her nephews but not her son. She said she hadn’t realised that she’d run past his body.

Cynthia Santos, 22, was also killed, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office, which said she died at a hospital early on Tuesday.

Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said she was “devastated” by the news of the shooting.

“My heart breaks for the victims, their loved ones, and the entire Como community that works to build positivity and celebration in their community and our city,” Parker said on Twitter.

One of the 11 victims is a juvenile, police said. The ComoFest celebration had been held in a park a several blocks away from where the shots were fired. Following the inaugural celebration in 2021, eight people were shot and wounded near a car wash in the area.

The neighbourhood also has been holding an annual Fourth of July parade for more than 70 years. On Tuesday morning, people gathered for the parade along the street where the shooting had occurred the night before.

Weatherly was among those attending the parade. She sat in the spot where her son was killed, a bouquet of flowers next to her folding chair.

She told the Morning News that her son, who worked nearly every day at a McDonald’s, had recently graduated from high school and planned to become an electrician.

“He was a beautiful young man,” Weatherly said. “He did everything right. He did not deserve to die.”

Authorities haven’t released the identity of the third person killed.

In Philadelphia on Monday right, a heavily armed gunman in a bulletproof vest opened fire on the city’s streets, killing five people and wounding two boys before surrendering, police there said.

Last Sunday in Baltimore, two people were killed and 28 others were wounded in a shooting at a holiday weekend block party.