FORT WORTH, Texas -- Five people were shot and two of them critically wounded Sunday night, May 10, at a Fort Worth park crowded with 600 people, police said.
Officials said witnesses described fireworks going off, followed by at least 30 rounds of gunfire around 7 p.m. local time.
Three of those shot had injuries that were not life-threatening, officials said at a news conference Sunday night. Two were critically wounded. Further details on the victims were not immediately available.
Video posted on Twitter showed the chaos of the scene: people crouching behind moving cars and sprinting across a road while the sounds of sirens and popping noises could be heard in the background.
Officials said it was too early to say what precipitated the shooting. They said they were exploring the possibility it might be related to a separate shooting that took place nearby earlier Sunday.
It was also unclear what hundreds of people were doing in the park at the time, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve been stating that everybody would follow the rules that have been set out,” Officer Buddy Calzada of the Fort Worth police said at the news conference. “We try to work with everybody. Ultimately people have a choice and that’s just the choice they made tonight.”
The city’s website said municipal parks, trails and golf courses remained open but that people must comply with the social distancing rules of staying 6 feet apart.
The shooting came as states and municipalities wrestle with when and how to reopen during the pandemic as officials try to balance public health needs with a desire to open businesses and restore jobs.
Texas has been one of the states in the forefront of the reopening movement. Last month, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls would be allowed to reopen with limited capacity.
This article was written by Christopher Mele, a reporter for The New York Times