“Enough is enough:” Witnesses, Flint city leaders react to overnight wave of violence

12 shot across city, police investigation continues
The Flint Police Department
The Flint Police Department((source: WJRT))
Published: Jul. 26, 2020 at 10:53 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) (07/26/2020)-Gunfire erupted in the middle of a massive outdoor celebration in Flint. Witnesses say more than a hundred shots were fired into a crowd of more than 1000 people gathered illegally despite warnings from flint police.

12 people were shot overnight in a chaotic weekend for the City of Flint, six in two separate unconnected incidents. ABC 12 is still waiting on those details as police begin piecing the situation together.

The other six victims, shot at Hallwood Plaza in the center of a massive crowd. Flint Police have said they were part of a pop up party with hundreds in attendance.

Dramatic video captured by Treal Magazine pans through the epicenter of Saturday’s thousand-person party and shows a fight break out between several women. Several tense moments later, you can hear gunfire erupt before the video comes to a stop.

“It got really crazy out here.”

Michael Clack thought he’d come to a celebration, but instead, found himself on the edge of a full-blown shootout.

“I would guess, on the low end, there were 100 shots,” recalled Clack. “I heard there were shots coming from every direction.”

ABC 12 has been told witnesses in the massive crowd ran for their lives, dodging a hail of gunfire. The situation, so intense it forced nearby Hurley Medical Center’s emergency department into lockdown protocol, though nothing happened within the hospital itself.

“I’ve talked to people and it was a wave of people running over each other,” related Flint City Councilman Eric Mays. “I’ve seen people come back who had skin scraped off.”

In the light of day, the parking lot of Hallwood Plaza is now a desolate scene of abandoned shoes, shot up cars and bullets littering the ground. It’s where an ABC 12 crew found Mays, cleaning up the aftermath.  

“It looked like a war zone,” said Mays. “Not just because of the whole bullets, the casings that were left. I thought it would still be roped off in yellow tape but it was not.”

Watching the video, all agree: it’s just fortunate nobody died.

“Residents… are fearful to come out of their homes,” said Pastor Jeffrey Hawkins, addressing a crowd of community leaders Sunday afternoon. “[They] think they’re living in a war zone. We must be conscious that it doesn’t have to be like that. But it takes residents, it takes the community to get involved. To have these tough conversations with their loved ones. Enough is enough, but it’s going to take the community to get involved.”

The pop up party was reportedly organized via Facebook on behalf of a local rapper. Flint police tell ABC 12 they repeatedly warned organizers not to hold it. Their permit was also denied. The event was also moved twice before settling on that Hallwood Plaza location.

Flint police were on hand. Mayor Sheldon Neeley and the police chief addressed the response Sunday afternoon, which included 250 percent more staffing than is usual for a Saturday evening. Police were on scene to shut it down when the violence broke out.

Count on ABC 12 to continue following this still developing story.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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