2 dead in shooting at crowded rural Georgia music festival
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Investigators are searching for culprits in shootings that killed two people at a music festival in east central Georgia.
Local news outlets report the shooting in Sandersville killed William Mykell Lowery, 17, and Christopher “Scooter” Dunn, 30.
Both men were attending a Freaknik festival at a local park. Freaknik was once a spring break festival in Atlanta attended by students at historically Black colleges and universities. But the name is now used by music promoters for dances, concerts and events nationwide. Sandersville is about 100 miles (165 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta.
Witnesses said the shooting sparked a stampede.
“You just heard gunshots go off and then the whole crowd just started running. Everybody just started hiding behind cars and stuff and a lot of folks were rushing out with cars because the whole field was packed,” Timothy Pace told WJBF-TV.
Washington County Sheriff Joel Cochran told WMAZ-TV that the first deputy arrived to find as many as a thousand people attending.
“Once he got there to the location, more shots were being fired. He radioed for assistance and there, far out, he found a victim that had been shot. We later found out that another person had been shot and was driven to the hospital by a civilian,” Cochran said.
Pace said the crowded event had little security and no one checking for weapons.
Cochran’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are handling the inquiry.