DALLAS — Fifteen people were injured, including one as young as 13, and one person was killed in a Saturday night shooting during a trail ride and concert in southern Dallas, police officials said.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia on Monday gave an updated count on how many people were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds, an increase from the 11 victims reported on Sunday.
Garcia also confirmed that seven off-duty Dallas police officers were working security at the event but left about an hour before the shooting, which happened shortly after midnight.
Garcia said the officers were approved for the off-duty work but should not have been approved due to issues with the event not having proper city permits.
Dallas police officers said they responded to a shooting call at 5050 Cleveland Road in southern Dallas at approximately 12:13 a.m. on Sunday.
Upon arriving at the scene, police said they found a 26-year-old man identified as Kealon Dejuane Gilmore lying near a stage with a gunshot wound to his head. Police said Gilmore was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police described Gilmore's death as a homicide.
Police also said that an additional 15 victims of the shooting -- including three juveniles -- were transported to an area hospital by either ambulance or private vehicle.
According to police, one of those victims was in critical condition as of late Sunday morning, while the remaining victims were in stable condition.
As of Monday, all victims were in stable condition. Police also on Monday released the ages of the injured victims. Three were juveniles, ages 13, 14 and 15.
The other victims ranged in age from 18 to 29.
Garcia in Monday's news conference said detectives were still investigating the shooting and that no suspects have been arrested. Garcia also said police officials are looking into why officers were approved to work an event with permitting issues.
"The event should not have been allowed in the first place," Garcia said.
Garcia said he's hoping to work with city officials on possibly creating an ordinance related to event promoters to prevent a situation that happened this weekend with an unpermitted event.
“People coming to an event should be able to enjoy the event and not worry if they make it home," Garcia said.
Witnesses WFAA spoke with said as many as 2,000 people were in attendance at the open-air event, which was billed as the Second Annual Epic Easter Bike Out & Field Party.
"Everybody was running," said Lulu Smith, who attended the event with her daughter. "It was so jam-packed right here, you couldn't get in or out. When I got to my car, somebody was shooting. I rolled down my window and I heard [shots]."
Smith told WFAA that this event was not your typical concert setting. It was a trail ride event in a remote area, where attendants drove their ATVs, sat in the bed of trucks and paraded through the property before finishing up for a concert at the main stage.
According to other witnesses, the situation arose from a fight that broke out on the scene. Witnesses WFAA spoke with also believed that there were multiple shooters.
"Once they seen they can't break up the fight, they shot in the air to stop it," said a woman who only wanted to be identified as Brittney, and who happened to be in the fray when the shooting occurred. "It escalated, and they started shooting people."
Police confirmed that their preliminary investigation determined one unknown individual at the event fired a gun into the air, followed by another unknown individual firing a gun in the direction of the crowds.
Reached for comment, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson provided WFAA the following statement on the shooting: "Last night’s violence was horrific and unacceptable. I am praying for the victims, and I look forward to our police department bringing those responsible to justice. Public safety remains our top priority, and I will be conferring with Police Chief Eddie Garcia to see what more can be done to stop this kind of violence in our city."
The event was to be headlined by Memphis rapper Big Boogie. According to a post on the performer's Instagram page, the shooting occurred before he arrived at the venue.
A flyer for the event promoted it as happening at 5050 Cleveland Road, with gates opening at noon, horses and ATVS welcome, and kids aged 10 and under being admitted for free.
Multiple flyers for the event also promoted that Dallas police would on site, working alongside 60 security personnel -- "necessary steps and precautions to make the event a safe and fun space for all in attendance," read on flyer, which also stated that this decision was made "due to the rise of senseless violence." Flyers additionally noted that guests would be subjected to metal detectors upon arrival, that "drama of anykind [sic] will not be tolerated" and that promoters were "not responsible for accidents or theft."
The organizer of the event released a statement Sunday afternoon, saying that the event had Dallas police officers and added security.
“On behalf of the Epic Easter Officials, we are saddened by the unfortunate events that occurred yesterday. Our goal was to organize a positive event for and by our people. We took the necessary steps to offer safety by having Dallas Police officers and security personnel on scene. Additionally, emergency officers and vehicles were on standby. However, some things were still out of our control. Our team did not expect a turn out of that capacity, but we truly appreciate the support of all that came & those who traveled to attend. Our prayers and deepest condolences go out to the individuals and families involved.”
As investigators piece this all together, a topic that is also certain to come up is the capacity for the event. Witnesses said that, with people running at the sound of gunshots, police and emergency vehicles were unable to promptly enter the scene upon arrival.
Police said their investigation into the shooting, its motive and the circumstances surrounding Gilmore's death are still under investigation.
This is the second mass shooting at a party in Dallas in recent weeks. On March 19, 10 people were injured in a shooting during a spring break party at the southern Dallas venue The Space. One of the victims of that incident, an 18-year-old man, later died from his injuries. Police are still searching for suspects in that shooting as well.
This is a developing story. Check back for more details as they come.