1 dead, 27 wounded in Arkansas car show shooting

Southeast

DUMAS, Ark. (NewsNation) — One person was killed and 27 others wounded, including children, in a shooting outside a car show in southeast Arkansas, police said.

Officials with the Arkansas State Police said the deadly shooting in Dumas Saturday was the largest mass shooting incident in state history.

During a news conference on Sunday, Col. Bill Bryant said there were 28 people hit by gunfire in the shooting outside the Hood-Nic car show.

The victim who died was identified by authorities as 23-year-old Cameron Schaffer from Jacksonville. 

Authorities have not said what led to Saturday night’s shooting in Dumas, but police said in a news release Sunday that one person was in custody and authorities were searching for others who may have fired into the crowd Saturday evening.

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.

Authorities noted that the children injured ranged in ages from 11 years old to 19 months old. 

State troopers were dispatched at around 7:25 p.m. to Dumas, located about 90 miles south of Little Rock, following a report of gunfire outside a business where the car show was underway, Arkansas State Police spokesperson Bill Sadler said.

Wallace McGehee, the car show’s organizer, told KARK that when the bullets started flying, he began “running, ducking, getting down, trying to get kids out of the way.”

Candace McKinzie, who helped organize the event, told The New York Times that the gunfire seemed to come out of nowhere.

“You went from laughing and talking and eating and everything to random firing,” she said.

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.”

McGehee expressed condolences to the victims’ families and the community.

“For something like this to happen, it’s a tragedy,” McGehee told a local news outlet at the scene. “We did this here for 16 years without a problem.”

Chris Jones, a Democrat running for Arkansas governor, tweeted that he’d attended 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.

NewsNation affiliate KARK and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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