Updated: 10:30 a.m. Sunday
Police now say four young people were shot outside of the Detroit Institution of Arts on Saturday evening during the 45th annual Noel Night, and the suspect is still on the loose.
Thousands of people – many of them families with children – scrambled for safety around 8 p.m. after at least six shots rang out behind the world-class museum at John R. and Farnsworth.
Police confirmed on Sunday morning that four people were shot. A 17-year-old girl and two boys, ages 14 and 16, were shot in the leg and rushed to the hospital in non-life-threatening condition. Police added Sunday that a fourth victim – a 19-year-old man – was shot in the leg and right hand. He’s in stable condition.
Police believe the shooting followed an argument between a group of young people. At least three of the four gunshot victims were involved in the argument, police said.
Helicopters and dozens of police from multiple agencies swarmed the area as crowds scattered.
The scene was chaotic as people fled the area, many of them families with children.
Police sending everyone home but not directing traffic. It’s a nightmare.
— Amanda Ninja Face (@girlwithafacee) December 3, 2017
Event organizers canceled Noel Night and encouraged people to leave the area. Some business were closed down.
Officials at nearby Wayne State University also encouraged students to avoid the area.
About an hour later, several fights broke out among young people, including outside of the DIA and the McDonalds a few blocks south at Woodward and W. Canfield.
Violence at Noel Night had been extremely rare, with one fight reported last year.
In the meantime, neighborhoods were left with a slim force unable to respond timely to most violent crimes. In other words, DPD spent more resources protecting visitors than longtime, taxpaying residents.
On Thursday night, five people were shot – at least one fatally – in a drive-by shooting on the city’s east side, and the suspect or suspects are still on the loose. Police are looking for a dark-colored Buick Alero.
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Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.