Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Gunfire at the Black Expo

Rich Van Wyk:

Downtown crowds run for their lives after gunfire rings out

Panic erupted in the streets of downtown Indianapolis just after midnight Sunday morning, as gunfire sent crowds running for their lives.

There were two separate shootings with five people injured and two suspected gunman on downtown streets that were jammed with Black Expo crowds.

The first shooting happened just before midnight on Maryland Street near Illinois. Three men were hit and taken to the hospital, and a woman was grazed by a ricochet.

"Fortunately, nothing life threatening. We had so many officers in the area, such a police presence , we had arrests in minutes," said Major Lloyd Crowe.

Just after 2 am, there were more shots fired around the corner on Illinois street. The crowd ran away and police moved in with guns drawn and firing pepper spray. Several on lookers were overcome.

The suspected gun man was cuffed, and the victim suffered a non life threatening would in his hip.

Police Chief Michael Spears looked frustrated.

"It is disappointing when someone fires a weapon on a crowed street, however officers were in the area and responded and made arrests within seconds," said Chief Spears.

The Expo crowd overwhelmed downtown.

At 2:10 a.m, the traffic downtown was curb to curb. The sidewalks were just as full and many of the people appeared to be minors.

Scores of police officers were keeping patrol and traffic moving, and moving into the crowds on horseback at the first sign of trouble.

We witnessed numerous arrests, and despite the trouble, members of the faith based patrols say it was a good night.

"Everybody is having a pretty good time, with the police presence out here it is going very well," said James Johnson.

After the second shooting police started closing streets, moving the crowd out of downtown and ending the party.

Five Injured in Downtown Indianapolis Shootings

2 downtown shootings investigated

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