One dead, 27 injured, at an Arkansas auto show during the shootout

A man was killed and at least 27 other people were injured at an auto show in Dumas, Arkansas, on Saturday night, officials said.

The victims were described as bystanders in the shootings between two suspects, Colonel William J. Bryant of Arkansas State Police said at a news conference on Sunday.

“The bottom line is that only two people got into the shooting,” he said. “Unfortunately we had a lot [cq] shooting victims. “

One person was arrested but authorities were unclear as to any possible link to the violence.

“It’s an unrelated arrest,” said Bryant. “… We’re still looking for two people.”

At least six children – the youngest is 19 months old – were among the injured, he said. According to a spokesman, they were taken to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

At least five have been released since Sunday afternoon, the colonel said.

The deceased was identified by authorities as Cameron Schaffer, 23, of Jacksonville, Arkansas. Bryant said there was no indication that the victim was one of the shooters.

Governor Asa Hutchinson said he would monitor the investigation.

“As the investigation progresses, I will look into the details to see if there are any steps that could be taken to prevent this kind of tragedy,” said Hutchinson.

Bryant said around 6:50 PM soldiers, traffic police and investigators were sent to the parking lot where the event was held, advertised by promoters as a car and bicycle show.

While organizers have been promoting a wider Spring Break-style holiday weekend for years, the colonel said their internet marketing was showing that all bystanders and shooters had turned up at the car show.

“If you look at the website of Hoodnic, a community organization – they do things like buy backpacks, all kinds of things – but it was the car show they were running,” he said.

The last time a wider car show event was held in 2019, it was a two-day Spring Break celebration, according to Dumas city officials.

This year, the promoters did not describe the two-day happening as celebrating the spring break, although the attractions mentioned included club music, a parade, gospel performances, live bands and a car and bicycle show. According to the organizers’ schedule, the car show part of the weekend should be over by the time the shooting broke out.

Virtual flyers advertised the wider event as “Neighbors’ Picnic” and “Hoodnic Weekend”.

The event site video reviewed by NBC News shows an arrangement similar to a music festival, with a stage, food concessions, tarpaulin-covered booths and dirty footpaths.

The state police didn’t mention a bigger festival.

“There is no doubt from local authorities or the state police that a car show has taken place,” state police spokesman Bill Sadler emailed.

The event’s organizers, a non-profit group called Hoodnic Foundation, said they were “devastated and shocked by what happened at today’s car show,” in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

The organizers also described themselves as operating under the name Delta NEYO

The group’s director, Wallace McGehee, said he witnessed the shooting and tried to save the children from danger.

“Getting downstairs, trying to get the children out of the way, was the main problem for all of us,” he said.

McGehee said the group encourages non-violence. The Hoodnic Foundation is listed on transparency websites as an educational non-profit organization.

This was the sixteenth year of a major event in Dumas, McGehee said. He said the rest of the years have been smooth.

“Send you prayers, send all your condolences,” said McGehee.

Chris Jones, a Democrat running for Arkansas governor, tweeted that he was at the event on Saturday, registering voters and enjoying a “positive family atmosphere.”

“I am deeply saddened (and genuinely angry) at this tragedy,” Jones said in a statement.

Press association contributed.

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