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Dallas police responded at approximately 12:13 a.m. to a call about shots fired at an event billed as a trail ride and concert located at 5050 Cleveland Road. Officers located Kealon Dejuane Gilmore, 26, lying near the stage with a gunshot wound to the head, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said 11 other individuals were transported by either private vehicles or ambulances to different hospitals. One of the victims was in critical condition, while the other victims were in stable condition as of 11:50 a.m. Sunday morning, when police provided their most recent update.
“A preliminary investigation determined that at the event, one individual fired a gun into the air, then another unknown individual fired a gun in the crowd’s direction,” the Dallas Police Department said.
In its initial update, the police department said at least three of the shooting victims were juveniles.
The investigation into the possible motive and circumstances of the shooting is ongoing, police said. Anyone with information is urged to contact Homicide Unit Det. Christopher Anderson at 214-671-3616 or email@example.com and refer to the case number, 057740-2022.
No arrests were immediately announced in connection to the shooting.
“Last night’s violence was horrific and unacceptable. I am praying for the victims, and I look forward to our police department bringing those responsible to justice,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement to WFAA. “Public safety remains our top priority, and I will be conferring with Police Chief Eddie Garcia to see what more can be done to stop this kind of violence in our city.”
Witnesses described to Fox 4 how the sound of gunfire prompted panic and large crowds of people ran from the rural lot. At the time of the shooting, Dallas Fire-Rescue had one engine company already at the scene responding to a separate incident, and fire personnel were forced to use ATVs to move the shooting victims because traffic blocked the ambulance’s access to the scene, police told the outlet.
The concert was expected to be headlined by Memphis-based rapper Big Boogie, but WFAA reported that, according to a post on his Instagram account, the shooting happened before he arrived.
Fliers for the event said that gates opened at the rural lot at noon, horses and ATVs were welcome and children under age 10 would be admitted for free. WFAA reported that fliers advertised that Dallas police officers would be at the concert working alongside 60 security personnel, but the department is looking into whether those claims are accurate, as off-duty cops must receive approval to work security.
After the shooting, the organizer of the event released a statement on behalf of Epic Easter officials reiterating that they took safety precautions by having Dallas police and security personnel on scene.
“Our goal was to organize a positive event for and by our people. We took the necessary steps to offer safety by having Dallas Police officers and security personnel on scene. Additionally, emergency officers and vehicles were on standby,” the statement shared to Instagram Sunday read. “However, some things were still out of our control. Our team did not expect a turn out of that capacity, but we truly appreciate the support of all that came & those who traveled to attend. Our prayers and deepest condolences go out to the individuals and families involved.”
The fliers also advertised precautions taken “due to the rise in senseless violence,” including screening guests through metal detectors and said promoters would “not responsible for accidents or theft.”
The incident in Texas came hours before the country witnessed a separate mass shooting in Sacramento, California, early Sunday, which prompted a response from the White House and President Biden calling on Congress to act on gun control, including passing his budget proposal to “give cities more of the funding they need to fund the police and fund the crime prevention and intervention.”
Six people were fatally shot and another dozen were injured when multiple shooters opened fire in downtown Sacramento as people flooded out of bars and restaurants around 2:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Sunday’s concert incident was the second mass shooting seen in Dallas in recent weeks. WFAA reported that 10 people were wounded on March 19 when a shooting broke out at a spring break party at the venue The Space and one of the victims, an 18-year-old man, later died of his injuries. No suspects have been identified in that shooting, according to the outlet.