Two men have died following a shooting in Georgia during a Freaknik festival. The Associated Press reported the shooting in Sandersville, GA killed William Mykell Lowery, 17, and Christopher “Scooter” Dunn, 30. According to the news outlet, panic resulted in a stampede.
“You just heard gunshots go off and then the whole crowd just started running. Everybody just started hiding behind cars and stuff and a lot of folks were rushing out with cars because the whole field was packed,” described Timothy Pace, a Freaknik attendee.
Law enforcement shared their belief that over 1000 people attended the nostalgia-driven event and few security measures were in place. According to 13WMAZ, Sheriff Joel Cochran explained calls of shots fired came in from people at the event, which had a “90s vs 80s” theme. Violent crime in the area is typically low, however, several calls from the neighborhood have been made in the past. The sheriff believes the shooting was possibly gang-related.
“Anytime someone loses their life to something so not necessary, it affects the community. Especially family and friends of the deceased,” Sheriff Cochran said. “We need some help identifying these people that are responsible for this selfish act. We’re very optimistic that we’ll bring those people responsible to justice.”
A resident of the neighborhood shared her desire for the park to be closed: “If you’re giving a birthday party for your child, somebody will still come act a fool. So, I just wish they’d close it down.”
Anyone with information is asked to notify the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
Watch the local news report below.