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Six people wounded by gunfire at large Flint event, officials worry about COVID spread

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is decrying a Saturday night “pop-up party” that drew hundreds of people and ended with six wounded by gunfire.

Police had broken up two previous attempts to hold the event, which attracted up to a thousand people. 

Police were trying to break up the third attempt when the gunfire rang out.

Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley says Saturday night’s violence could have been worse.

“These individuals that engaged in shooting...they did so in the presence of police officers...knowing that they’re there,” Neeley told reporters Sunday.

Flint Police Chief Phil Hart says more criminal charges may be coming, including possibly against the promoters of the event. 

“We will be reviewing this with the prosecutors’ office to make sure it’s appropriate,” says Hart. “Yes, the parties responsible will be looked at for charges.”

Mayor Sheldon Neeley criticized the promoters for ignoring COVID-19 rules prohibiting gatherings of more than 100.

“We know about the people who were shot,” says Neeley, “But we don’t know about the silent killer of COVID-19 and how the spread could have happened or a super spread.

Dr. Bobby Mukkamala is the president of the Michigan State Medical Society.  He’s a physician in Flint.  He says large events like the one Saturday night in Flint may turn out to be deadly.

“Bullets flew last night and thankfully it looks like we might escape...without a death from a bullet,” says Dr. Mukkamala, “But as the math shows, with a mortality rate of 2% here in our area...you can be sure that a couple people are going to die.  Not from bullets, but from a microscopic virus.”

Saturday was a violent night in Flint, with six other unrelated shootings. 

Flint has seen an increase in violent crime this year.

City leaders are stepping up enforcement efforts targeting illegal weapons, launching a gun buy-back program and filling 14 vacant police officer positions.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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