CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

2 people shot in Uvalde’s Memorial Park, police say

Sep 9, 2022, 6:00 AM
uvalde police...
FILE: Law enforcement personnel walk outside Uvalde High School after shooting at Robb Elementary School, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)
(William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

(CNN) — As dozens of kids played and people picnicked at Memorial Park in Uvalde, Texas, on Thursday afternoon, gunfire interrupted the scene in what authorities believe was gang-related violence.

Two juveniles were taken to hospitals in San Antonio for treatment but their conditions were unknown, according to a statement from the Uvalde Police Department. Four suspects are in custody and are being questioned, the department said Thursday night.

Celeste Ibarra told CNN she was at the park with her daughter, Aubriella, who has PTSD and depression from the May 24 shooting at Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School, where she was a third grader on the day 19 of her schoolmates and two teachers were gunned down.

The Ibarras were enjoying their day at the park with other family members and as they was loading their car to leave, gunfire broke out between the slides and basketball courts.

“A lot of kids were ducking and diving again,” Ibarra said. “It was horrible.”

State troopers responded quickly to the park and escorted people out, she added.

Memorial Park is near the Uvalde town square, where a makeshift memorial was established to honor those lost in the May shooting. It is about a mile and a half from the now-shuttered elementary school.

The shooting comes just days after the new school year began and in the wake of the deadliest school shooting in the United States since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

Officer Jessica Zamora told CNN that the shooting happened at about 5:30 p.m. CT, but they did not yet have details on the conditions of the victims nor their identities.

Uvalde mayor Don McLaughlin told CNN that the shooting is believed to be “gang-related.”

Ibarra said she didn’t see anyone hit by the bullets. Gang activity is highly unusual in Uvalde, she told CNN.

Authorities say they are in the early stages of their investigation.

“We are working with the Uvalde Police Department and Sheriff’s Office following a suspected gang related shooting at Memorial Park,” the Texas Department of Public Safety tweeted. “This information is preliminary, as the situation develops we will work with local law enforcement to provide updates.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he was outraged to hear about the gang-related violence, adding that he has directed the public safety department to send six more trooper units to Uvalde and for troopers to patrol in gang hotspots.

“Gang violence has no place here in Texas, and we will bring the full force of justice down on these heinous criminals,” he said in his statement on Twitter.

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