CHARLOTTE — Two people were killed and seven others were wounded in an early Monday shooting in North Carolina’s largest city, police said, while five others were hit by vehicles.
The shooting happened at an “impromptu block party” that was a continuation of Juneteenth celebrations, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings told reporters.
Police responding to a call about a pedestrian hit by a car found hundreds of people in the streets around 12:30 a.m., a police statement said. As officers arrived, they heard several shots nearby.
“Several shooters discharged dozens of shots into the crowd,” a police release said preliminary information indicated. No one was in custody as of Monday morning.
A female victim who was shot was pronounced dead at the scene, the release said. Her age and identity weren’t released. Another victim was pronounced dead at a hospital; no further information about the second fatality was released.
The conditions of the seven people wounded in the shooting weren’t immediately clear.
Jennings initially said the five people were hit by vehicles while running away, but the police statement later said that the first person hit by a car was believed to be the call officers were initially responding to, while the other four were struck by vehicles fleeing the gunfire. All five are believed to have suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The shooting took place on Beatties Ford Road in northern Charlotte, police said.
Juneteenth, for which celebrations started Friday, commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago.