FORT WORTH: Police on Friday arrested two men aged 19 and 20 on suspicion of murder in the shooting at a Texas street festival on the eve of the Fourth of July that killed three people and wounded eight others, Fort Worth police chief Neil Noakes said.
Further arrests could be made, Noakes told a press conference. He provided few details about the suspects, what led to the gunfire, or the circumstances of their arrest.
Police identified the two suspects as Christopher Redic, 20, and Brandon Williams, 19, both of Fort Worth.
Two of the victims, Cynthia Santos, 22, and Gabriella Navarrete, 18, died at a hospital, while Paul Willis, 18, died at the scene, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, citing the medical examiner and relatives.
The shooting broke out Monday just before midnight at Como Fest, a tradition in Fort Worth celebrating the Como neighbourhood’s African-American history.
Witnesses heard a barrage of gunfire that some initially believed was fireworks but soon led to a stampede for safety, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The Como neighbourhood had been on edge since the shooting, although defiant neighbours and community leaders went ahead with their July Fourth parade hours after the shooting.
Noakes said he attended a community meeting on Thursday night that resembled a “therapy session.”
“We heard about the trauma. We heard about the heartache. We heard from so many family members of those who died that day,” Noakes said. “But we also heard about the resilience of the Como community. Despite the young lives that were taken, we saw a community that stood tall, rallied around one another, and loved one another.”
There were a number of mass shootings elsewhere in the US in the run-up to the Fourth of July. In Philadelphia on Monday five people were killed, and a two-year-old boy and 13-year-old boy were wounded.
In Baltimore on Sunday two people were killed and 28 were wounded, about half of them children.