DALLAS (AP) — Two men were arrested Friday in a shooting that killed three people and injured eight others as a crowd of hundreds gathered in a Texas neighborhood on the eve of the Fourth of July, police said.
Christopher Redic Jr., 20, and Brandon Williams, 19, were both taken into custody on murder charges related to the shooting late July 3 in the Fort Worth neighborhood of Como, Fort Worth police Chief Neil Noakes said.
Noakes said investigators believe the shooting was gang-related and followed some kind of altercation.
“I don’t know specifically whom they were shooting at," Noakes said. “There’s a potential that altercation is what initiated the violence to occur.”
He said there could be additional arrests. Police had previously said several men fired indiscriminately into the crowd.
The shooting erupted about two hours after the end of the Independence Day celebration called ComoFest in the historically Black neighborhood. The celebration had been held in a park several blocks away from the area where the shots were fired.
Police have said the shooting on Horne Street was “separate from and unrelated to ComoFest.”
The three people killed were Paul Willis, 18, Cynthia Santos, 22, and Gabriella Navarrete, 18, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office.
It was unclear whether Redic or Williams had attorneys to represent them.
Following the inaugural ComoFest celebration in 2021, eight people were shot and wounded near a car wash in the area.
Noakes said police have been discussing with the community how the gathering “needs to look going forward.”
“That after-party, if you will, that’s not going to look the same,” he said.
The neighborhood has held an annual Fourth of July parade for more than 70 years. The parade went on Tuesday morning, with people gathering along the street where the shooting had occurred the night before.
Noakes called Como “one of the most historic and loved communities in Fort Worth” and said that in the face of the shooting, it has “stood tall, rallied around one another and loved one another.”
A rash of shootings in the U.S. over the Fourth of July weekend has spiked fear in communities across the nation.
In Baltimore, 30 people were shot, two fatally, at a block party. In Philadelphia, a heavily armed gunman in a bulletproof vest opened fire on the city’s streets, killing five people and wounding two boys. At least three people were killed and 10 wounded at an annual July Fourth bash in Louisiana. A 7-year-old was shot dead in Tampa after two groups gathered along a causeway for Independence Day started to fight.