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Two killed, 18 hurt in Florida gunfight

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FLORIDA: Gunfire erupted in the midst of Halloween festivities early on Sunday around a clutch of bars and clubs in the Florida city of Tampa, leaving at least two people dead and 18 others injured, police said.

Videos posted on social media site X showed a chaotic scene of crowds of people running through the streets with the sound of at least a dozen shots ringing out. The videos showed police scrambling to give aid to costumed victims bleeding on the sidewalks.

The images came as a grim reminder of the last year’s tragedy in Seoul when a stampede during Halloween festivities left nearly 160 people dead.

However, police said a fight between two groups broke out around 3am in the historic neighborhood of Ybor City, where hundreds of people filled the streets.

As soon as the shooting began, people ran for their lives and the clubs and bars were closed.

While early in the investigation, indications are that an altercation between two groups escalated to gunfire, resulting in one death at the scene, with “19 victims being transported to nearby hospitals”, a Tampa police report said.

Another victim died at the hospital, police said. “Our thoughts are with the victims impacted by this senseless act and our detectives are committed to holding those involved accountable,” Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said.

Later, one person was detained while police are looking for other suspected shooters.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2023


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