NATIONAL NEWS

Shots fired into a crowd of hundreds after a holiday festival in Texas leave 3 dead, 8 injured

Jul 4, 2023, 4:42 AM | Updated: 2:40 pm

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 neighborhood following a festival in the area, authorities said Tuesday.

No arrests have yet been made or suspects identified in the shooting at about 11:47 p.m. Monday in the Fort Worth neighborhood 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 neighborhood. That celebration had been held in a park a several blocks away from the area where the shots were fired.

Police said 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.

Paul Willis, 18, was among those killed, this mother, Ka’Desha Weatherly, told The Dallas Morning News. Weatherly told the newspaper that after hearing what sounded like 100 gunshots late 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 realized 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 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 neighborhood 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, two people were killed and 28 others were wounded in a shooting at a holiday weekend block party.

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Shots fired into a crowd of hundreds after a holiday festival in Texas leave 3 dead, 8 injured