Gunfire at Arkansas car show leaves 1 dead, 24 wounded

Crime scene tape lies on the ground, Sunday, March 20, 2022 at the scene where a shooting that left over 20 injured and one dead occurred Saturday night in Dumas, Ark. (Staci Vandagriff/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

DUMAS, Ark. | One person was killed and 24 others wounded when gunfire erupted during a car show that is part of an annual community event in a small southeast Arkansas town, authorities said Sunday.

Police have not said what led to Saturday night’s shooting in Dumas, but Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Twitter that there were two suspects, one of whom had been arrested and was being held on unrelated charges.

At least six children were among those wounded.

“As the investigation continues I will examine details to see if there are any steps that could have been taken to prevent this type of tragedy,” Hutchinson said.

Dumas is a city of about 4,000 located about 90 miles (144 kilometers) south of Little Rock. The car show is part of a community event held each spring called Hood-Nic, which is short for neighborhood picnic. The Hood-Nic Foundation says on its website that its mission is to “rebuild, reunite, and respond to the needs of the youth in our communities.”

The event, which helps raise funds for scholarships and school supplies, also included a bonfire, a basketball tournament, musical performances, a teen party and a balloon release.

“The purpose of Hood-Nic has always been to bring the community together,” the foundation said on its Facebook page. “This senseless violence needs to end.”

Six children who were wounded by gunfire were taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, according to a spokeswoman. Most had been released as of Sunday afternoon.

Messages left at a hospital in Dumas and another in nearby McGehee were not immediately returned.

Wallace McGehee, the car show’s organizer, expressed condolences to the victims’ families and the community.

“For something like this to happen, it’s a tragedy,” McGehee told KATV. “We did this here for 16 years without a problem.”

Chris Jones, a Democrat running for Arkansas governor, tweeted that was at the event earlier Saturday, registering voters and enjoying “a positive family atmosphere.”

“I am deeply saddened (and honestly angered) by this tragedy,” Jones said in a statement.

Hutchinson said that the man who was arrested was from Jacksonville, which is just northeast of Little Rock.


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