CLEVELAND, OHIO — A fistfight that began near a family unity festival headlined by funk musician George Clinton ended in gunfire, killing one and injuring three, Cleveland police said on Sunday.
During the fight in a parking lot near the concert venue on Saturday, one teenager produced a handgun and shot four people. One victim, a 16-year-old male, died from a wound to the head Sunday morning, Cleveland police spokesman Sammy Morris said.
A 20-year-old female wounded in the neck was reported as stable on Sunday, while two males who received gunshot wounds in the leg are expected to be released shortly from hospital, Morris said.
The names of the victims have not yet been released, he said.
The shooting occurred about three quarters of a mile from the Luke Easter Park locale where the annual “Family Unity In the Park” festival headlined by George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic was held. Authorities believe the incident is unrelated to the event.
“George Clinton and the other bands are basically from back in the ’80s, that’s when they were at the height of their popularity,” said Morris, saying that over 75% of the crowd was likely over 40. “It’s not like it was a Little Wayne concert or something when you have a bunch of 16-, 17-, 18-year-olds.”
Initial reports on the incident put the time of the shooting at 9:55pm, according to an official of the Cleveland investigative unit for homicide, which is handling the investigation.
George Clinton and his band were due to take the stage at the free family event just after 8pm, according to an announcement for the concert.
Luke Easter in eastern Cleveland is the largest urban park in the state of Ohio, according to the Family Unity in the Park website. The park has also hosted political leaders such as Jesse Jackson and John Kerry.
“Bring your family, your blankets, your lawn chairs, your picnic baskets, and your grills for this family celebration. There will be a kiddie park for kids, health screenings, voter registration, information booths and more,” the promotional website for Saturday’s event stated.
No one has been arrested and investigators are asking for anyone with information about the incident or suspect to contact Cleveland Police.
“It’s still ongoing, still an open investigation,” Morris said. “It started with a fistfight, that’s the one consistency; a fistfight that ended with the discharge of a weapon.”