Authorities said that a shooter opened fire “randomly” on a crowd at a campground in Washington state on Saturday night, killing two and wounding three. The victims were there for a nearby music festival.
Grant County Sheriff’s Office PIO Kyle Foreman said they first heard gunfire reports around 8:30 p.m. at a campsite not far from the Gorge Amphitheater, where thousands of people were gathered for an EDM concert. Located roughly 150 miles (239 kilometres) east of Seattle, the Gorge lies near the smaller city of George.
Foreman claimed the suspect “continued to shoot randomly into the crowd” after the initial bullets were fired before being engaged by police and put into custody. According to Foreman, shots were fired during the struggle between officers and the suspect. The suspect was taken to the hospital, but no further information was revealed.
2 dead and 3 hurt after shooting at Washington state electronic dance music festival https://t.co/59I95hZZLA
— WOKV News (@WOKVNews) June 19, 2023
Despite a public alert warning attendees to “run, hide, or fight,” according to Foreman, no one tried to flee the festival. Foreman said the festival lasted until early Sunday morning, even after the incident. Yazmin Alvarez, 30, told the Seattle Times that she, her husband, and a friend were camping near the theatre when a woman ran by and informed them of an active shooter.
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The party led by Alvarez fled toward the exit and took refuge among some buildings along a road. As the celebration continued nearby, they spotted helicopter lights. Foreman said information on the victims would be made public later. The Beyond Wonderland electronic music festival announced on social media that all Sunday activities in the Gorge were cancelled due to inclement weather.
Foreman said that most of the people staying at the shooting site, which event organizers called an “overflow camping area,” were probably at the concert when the shooting happened. The shooting is being looked into by an impartial watchdog group called the North Central Washington Special Investigation Unit.