Gunfire at Arkansas Auto Show kills 1, injures 27

DUMAS, Ark. –

A man was killed and 27 people were injured when two people got into a shootout at a car show that is part of an annual community event in a small town in southeast Arkansas , authorities said on Sunday.

A person who left the scene of Saturday night’s shooting has been arrested on unrelated charges and is being questioned about the shooting in Dumas, a town of about 4,000 people about 90 miles southeast of Little Rock said Arkansas State Police Col. Bill Bryant.

“All we know at this time is that two individuals were involved in a shooting,” Bryant said at a Sunday afternoon news conference.

He said several children were among the injured, including two under the age of 2.

The auto show is part of a community event held each spring called Hood-Nic, which is short for neighborhood picnic. The Hood-Nic Foundation states on its website that its mission is to “rebuild, reunite and meet the needs of young people in our communities.”

The event, which helps raise funds for scholarships and school supplies, also included a bonfire, basketball tournament, musical performances, teen party and balloon release.

“Hood-Nic’s goal has always been to bring the community together,” the foundation said on its Facebook page. “This senseless violence must stop.”

“It has always been a family event with a message of non-violence,” said Kris Love-Keys, director of development for the foundation.

Cameron Shaffer, 23, of Jacksonville, Arkansas, was killed in the gunfire, Bryant said. He said authorities had no indication he was involved in the shooting.

Earlier today, Governor Asa Hutchinson said on Twitter that one of the two suspects had been arrested and was being held on unrelated charges. But later, state police only said the arrested person was being questioned.

“As the investigation continues, I will review the details to see if there are any steps that could have been taken to prevent this type of tragedy,” Hutchinson said.

Six people under the age of 18 who sustained gunshot wounds were taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, a spokeswoman said. Most had been released by Sunday afternoon.

Wallace McGehee, the auto show organizer, told KARK that when the bullets started flying, he started “running, dodging, going down, trying to get the kids out of the way.”

Candace McKinzie, who helped organize the event, told The New York Times that the gunshots seemed to come out of nowhere.

“You went from laughing and talking and eating and everything to random shooting,” she said.

McKinzie said people started running and tripping over each other and old people were falling.

Among those shot were McKinzie’s cousin and sister. She said the two should recover.

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

“I am deeply saddened (and honestly angered) by this tragedy,” Jones said in a statement.

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