The following article, Halloween Horror: 2 Killed, at Least 18 Injured as Holiday Celebration Erupts in Gunfire, Sending 'Hundreds' Into Panic, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Halloween horror took a real-life turn early Sunday after a street dispute escalated into a gunfight in a Florida city’s nightlife district.
In a night that ranks as one of Tampa’s biggest party events of the year, shots rang out. Hundreds panicked.
And the results were deadly.
Two victims were killed and 18 were injured after gunfire erupted about 3 a.m. in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa, according to WFLA-TV in Tampa.
The shooting stemmed from a fight between two groups that broke out as bars were closing and Halloween revelers flooded the streets, WFLA reported.
And that made for greater collateral damage from the fight, Tampa police Chief Lee Bercaw said, according to the station.
“Between these two groups, we had hundreds of innocent people involved that were in the way,” Bercaw said, WFLA reported.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, one individual was arrested after surrendering to police.
The report did not describe what charges were involved.
Bercaw was asked if the shooting was gang-related but said only that it was “part of the investigation,” according to the Times.
Of the two fatalities, one died at the scene and one was taken to a hospital but pronounced dead there, the Times reported.
Of those injured, at least some were hurt in the frightened stampede that followed the shootings, rather than the actual gunfire, according to the Times.
The New York Post reported that the shooting started with an initial volley of about 12 shots, followed by eight more.
Multiple videos posted to social media conveyed the horror and confusion of the scene:
BREAKING: Halloween Celebration Mass shooting in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida Early this morning:
– At least 18 are injured and 2 are dead after a mass shooting took place this morning.
– The shooting took place on the 1600 block of East 7th Avenue in Tampa.
– The shooting began… pic.twitter.com/mRbvWXcrn7
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) October 29, 2023
Re-upload after a watermark has not been removed pic.twitter.com/ohrBLK9Hec
— Michael (@michael_gen_x) October 29, 2023
One even appeared to show an individual drawing a weapon.
BREAKING NEWS |
In this video, we can clearly see the individual pulling out a weapon and firing it.#Tampa #shooting #ActiveShooter #MassShooting #YborCity #Florida #FloridaState #ShotFired #Usa pic.twitter.com/ObpzFssKa4
— Breaking News (@PlanetReportHQ) October 29, 2023
According to the Times, the Saturday night before Halloween is traditionally a packed affair in Ybor City, a district of bars and restaurants northeast of downtown Tampa.
“For decades, the city hosted the Guavaween parade and festivities, featuring thousands of costumed revelers popping in and out of clubs up and down Seventh Avenue,” the Times reported.
Given that history, there were about 50 police officers in the area when the shooting broke out, according to WFLA.
It’s not unusual after a public shooting incident for Democratic politicians to immediately start talking about more gun control. In Tampa on Sunday, the city’s Democratic Mayor Jane Castor filled the role immediately, publishing a social media post that blamed the incident on “bad decisions” and a “proliferation of readily available guns.”
“We can affect one half of this equation,” she wrote.
Bercaw asked for the public’s help with any video of the morning’s events that could help with the police investigation, according to the Times.
“We need that video,” he said. “We’re going to hold those accountable and we’re going to bring them to justice but we need the cooperation of the community for that. And that is our ask.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.