MUNCIE, Ind. — A shooting that left one person dead and 17 others wounded early Sunday in a central Indiana city unfolded at an outdoor party attended by hundreds of revelers as police were calling the venue’s owner to shut down the gathering, authorities said Monday.
Muncie Police Chief Nathan Sloan said no arrests have been made in the shooting, which killed 30-year-old Joseph E. Bonner III, whom the chief said was among those attending the large party in the city about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis.
Sloan said police were aware that the owner of a business that periodically rents out space for events was hosting a block party that got “out of control,” with between 500 and up to 1,000 in attendance. Photos of the scene showed police tags marking what appeared to be dozens of bullets on the street.
Sloan said police were not at the scene at the time of the shooting just after 1 a.m. Sunday, but they were trying to get the business owner to end the party.
“We made a phone call to the owner and asked him to get things shut down. The streets were packed. Before we could make contact and get something done, before we could get that shut down, the gunfire erupted,” Sloan said during a news conference.
He said police were asking for any witnesses to the shooting or people with pictures or video of the incident to contact the Muncie Police Department. Sloan said some people at the scene refused to tell officers what had happened.
He declined to provide details of the investigation, including how many people may have fired weapons but described a scene of chaos as officers and first responders arrived at the location on Muncie's east side.
“Our people were applying tourniquets, administering first aid, providing CPR. And they we were rushing people to the hospital in our police cars because we didn’t have time to wait,” Sloan said.
Mayor Dan Ridenour said one man was killed and 17 other people suffered gunshot wounds in Sunday’s shooting. He said the shooting had left the community "shaken to the core by violence” and choked up repeatedly during the news conference.
After the shooting, police had to separate people in a Muncie hospital's parking lot who were arguing and officers had to clear a path at the hospital's entrance for anyone needing medical attention to enter, said Muncie Deputy Police Chief Melissa Criswell.
She said that among the 17 who survived the shooting, eight remained hospitalized — five at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, and four others who were taken to Indianapolis hospitals.
She said that among the four taken to Indianapolis, one remains in critical condition, two are listed as stable and the fourth had been discharged from a hospital.
Criswell said that two of the people wounded in Sunday’s shooting were minors, and that a nineteenth person who was injured may have been struck by a car.
IU Health spokesperson Neil Gifford said five people remained hospitalized at the Muncie hospital, down from 13 who were being treated on Sunday morning. He said he could not provide conditions of the five patients without being provided with their names.
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