2 Dead, 16 Injured in Mass Shooting at Memphis Block Party, Police say

HomeTop News2 Dead, 16 Injured in Mass Shooting at Memphis Block Party, Police...

MEMPHIS — A joyous neighborhood celebration in the Orange Mound community descended into unimaginable mayhem on Saturday evening. Gunshots abruptly pierced the air, sending partygoers scrambling as a barrage of bullets tore through the crowd. When the chaos finally subsided, at least two people lay dead and 16 others had suffered gunshot wounds in one of the most destructive mass shootings Memphis has ever witnessed.

The harrowing incident unfolded around 7 p.m. near the Orange Mound Park, where an unauthorized block party had swelled to over 300 people gathered along Carnes Avenue and Grand Street. Witnesses described a scene of initial jubilance that was shattered by an eruption of gunfire from multiple weapons.

“It was so sudden, like one minute everyone was having a good time, and the next bullets were flying everywhere,” said Emma Thompson, 28, who had brought her young children to the party. “Pure pandemonium broke out – people were running, screaming, taking cover any way they could. It was just unthinkable.”

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In a video circulating online, dozens of rapid gunshots can be heard as people shriek and flee in terror. According to interim Police Chief C.J. Davis, the preliminary investigation indicates at least two shooters were involved, though no arrests had been made as of late Saturday.

Davis described arriving at a scene of “frightening carnage,” with evidence of widespread bloodshed throughout the residential area. Two victims were pronounced dead in the street, while three others were rushed to hospitals in critical condition. As the night dragged on, another 11 gunshot victims self-transported to various Memphis emergency rooms.

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“The level of violence and complete disregard for human life is unacceptable,” Davis told reporters, visibly shaken. “This was an unauthorized event with no permits, but that doesn’t justify massacring people in our community.”

The mass shooting represents a new nadir of gun violence for Memphis and the state of Tennessee, which in 2021 had the fourth-highest rate of gun deaths nationally. As wailing sirens filled the warm spring air, a phalanx of ambulances joined a flood of police cars descending on the neighborhood. The Regional One Health trauma center was brieflyplaced on lockdown due to the influx of victims.

While block parties are common in urban areas during summer months, the unplanned nature and staggering size of Saturday’s gathering created uncontrolled conditions ripe for an eruption of violence. Police had urged residents to obtain proper permits and security for such events.

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“We cannot have large crowds of this magnitude gathering in residential areas without any oversight or regulation,” Davis said. “Gunshots can quickly turn a celebration into a massacre.”

As night fell over Orange Mound, police erected crime scene tape spanning several blocks as somber investigators documented evidence and interviewed witnesses. Distraught families arrived at the perimeter, held at a distance as they anxiously awaited any word about loved ones caught in the fusillade.

For the tight-knit Memphis community of Orange Mound, a working-class neighborhood with a proud heritage, the unspeakable loss of life will cast a long, mournful shadow. While questions linger about what triggered such indiscriminate bloodshed, an agonizing reality has set in – a neighborhood’s joyful gathering was transformed into devastating tragedy in a burst of senseless gunfire.CopyRetry

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a seasoned basketball journalist with a passion for the WNBA and NBA. His insightful writing combines commentary and stats, providing comprehensive coverage. Alee sheds light on the overlooked WNBA while championing its players. He also delivers in-depth NBA analysis, offering unique perspectives on trades, drafts, and league dynamics. With exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes access, Alee gives readers an unparalleled look into the lives of basketball's biggest stars.

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