Juneteenth celebrations marred by gun violence that killed 7 people and injured 21

Juneteenth celebrations marred by gun violence that killed 7 people and injured 21
Juneteenth commemorates the day enslaved African Americans were set free

Days after President Joe Biden signed a bill recognising Juneteenth as a federal holiday, the country recorded a spate of gun violence across different states during its celebration over the weekend.

Violent incidents related to Juneteenth were reported in California, South Carolina, Michigan and Colorado, while Louisiana and Philadelphia recorded unrelated incidents of shooting. In all, at least seven people were killed and 21 injured in gun violence over the weekend.

The shooting in Oakland, California occurred around 6.30pm about a mile from Lake Merritt Amphitheater where hundreds had gathered throughout the day to commemorate 19 June, 1865, as the day when roughly 2,000 Union Army soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that enslaved African Americans were now free.

According to CBS News, at least six people were wounded and one person died in the shooting. Soon after, police arrested two men and recovered two firearms. They were arrested after the officials saw them running away from the scene after the shooting, reported the media outlets.

It was not the only incidence of violence recorded on the day relating to Juneteenth. In Colorado, at least one person was killed and four wounded in a mass shooting incident that happened in the parking lot of a strip mall located at 12455 E Mississippi Avenue. The gathering was “related to a Juneteenth celebration” said police in a statement, adding that at least 50 people called 911 to report an “active shooter in the shopping mall parking lot.”

Investigators have recovered 114 shell casings by midday Sunday but so far, have not made any arrests, reported several media outlets. Police are investigating the possibility of a gang-related shooting.

Investigators have also not identified the attacker involved in the shooting at a Juneteenth celebration in York County of Clover, South Carolina, in which at least three people were shot. According to the police, “The shooting occurred on June 19, 2021, just before 11.30pm near the intersection of Oakridge Road and Bellaire Circle in the Oakridge community.”

According to the police, several cars were also hit by gunfire during the incident.

In Flint, Michigan, police fatally shot a 19-year-old woman after she allegedly opened fire at an officer near a Juneteenth parade. The suspect, whose name was not released, allegedly fired at a Flint Police Department officer working at a traffic point during the Juneteenth celebration parade, said Michigan State Police in a statement. The suspect died at a hospital after the incident, while the officer remains uninjured.

Louisiana and Philadelphia also recorded incidents of gun violence during the weekend. However, they have so far not been linked to Juneteenth.

The police are looking for the suspects involved in the deadly shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in which at least two people were left dead and four injured. According to Sgt L’Jean McKneely Jr, the incident occurred around 2 am on Saturday in the parking lot when an unidentified group of partygoers began leaving a concert venue nearby, reported the Associated Press.

The police have so far not identified the suspects responsible for the shooting and urged anyone with information to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at (225)389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225)344-7867 (STOP).

In another shooting incident in Philadelphia on Saturday at three people were wounded after gunmen fired more than 50 shots at a high-school graduation party attended by 30 people. All the victims are in stable condition and police has detained a suspect from the scene. However, no weapon was recovered, reported NBC News.

In a separate incident in the city, at least two men were fatally shot and a three-year-old severely wounded after receiving three gunshot wounds to the legs.

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