Shootings broke out across the country during the Juneteenth weekend celebrations, following President Joe Biden declaring it a national holiday.
Biden on Thursday signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which commemorates the freeing of Texas slaves on June 19, 1865. The president has not yet commented on the Juneteenth violence but said after he signed the bill that he “hope[s] this is the beginning of a change in the way we deal with one another.” The way people dealt with one another at the festivities, however, was with violence.
In Clover, South Carolina, three people were shot around 11:30 p.m. Saturday at a Juneteenth celebration, according to ABC News. One victim was a 17-year-old who was seriously injured and airlifted to a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. Authorities said several cars were also struck during the shooting. No arrests have been made, and the motive is under investigation.
During a Juneteenth celebration in Oakland, California, at least one person was left dead and several others wounded, Fox News reported. Bullets struck six victims between the ages of 16 and 27, the Oakland Police said in a statement. The department also confirmed that a 22-year-old victim died at the hospital.
Police said two men, allegedly armed with guns, were arrested after running from the scene of the shooting. “Tonight, a joyous occasion at our Lake Merritt was marred by a senseless act of gun violence,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement.
In Aurora, Colorado, an all-night Juneteenth party at a strip mall came to an end at 4 a.m. Sunday when multiple gunmen unleashed up to 114 rounds, leaving one man dead and four other people wounded, according to police. Law enforcement said no arrests were made.
UPDATE: The gathering in the parking lot where the shooting broke out was related to a Juneteenth celebration at a unit in this strip mall. Suspect(s) are at-large. Anyone who witnessed this incident or has information is asked to contact @CrimeStoppersCO.
— Aurora Police Dept (@AuroraPD) June 20, 2021
An emergency responder was shot while working at a Juneteenth rally in Raleigh, North Carolina. The responder was answering a call for a child who was in need of medical assistance, according to local news station WRAL.
The first responder was walking back to the ambulance after helping the child when shots were fired. WRAL reported that the responder is in good condition and is expected to make a full recovery. The shooter and motives are unknown.
An officer was working at a Juneteenth parade traffic point in Flint, Michigan, when a car pulled up and open-fired, according to The Detroit News. The officer returned fire, striking the suspect, a 19-year-old female. The woman succumbed to her injuries while at the hospital, police said. The incident is under investigation.