Police are searching for a suspect who opened fire during a Juneteenth celebration in Texas over the weekend, killing two people and injuring over a dozen more.

The shooting began shortly before 11 p.m. on Saturday in Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, about 20 miles north of Austin.

Two people were pronounced dead at the scene and 14 more were transported to area hospitals with gunshot wounds, police said.

On Saturday night, the Round Rock Police Department released a description of a suspect they were searching for in connection with the shooting.

The suspect is described as a Black male with a thin build, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with short dreadlocks. He was wearing a white hoodie at the time of the incident, police said.

“Turn yourself in,” Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks said in a message to the suspect during a press conference on Sunday night, according to CBS Austin.

“Turn yourself in. You’re man enough to carry a gun, pull the trigger. Be man enough to step up and turn yourself in.”

The Round Rock Police Department has been contacted for comment via email.

The shooting began after an altercation between two groups during a concert at the Juneteenth celebration in the park, Banks said during a news conference at the scene early on Sunday.

The shooting victims were not involved in the argument, Banks said.

Police officers and fire department personnel at the event immediately responded and began providing medical aid to the injured, Banks said. They were then taken to hospitals, he said.

Crime tape stock photo
Stock photo. Police in Texas are searching for a suspect in connection with a shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a park.
Stock photo. Police in Texas are searching for a suspect in connection with a shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a park.
iStock

“It is unfortunate that we were here celebrating a wonderful event and we have a tragedy that happens,” he said. “My thoughts and my prayers go out to the victims. My condolences go out to the families of the deceased.”

Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the United States learned they were free. Black Americans have celebrated the day with joy for generations, with parades, festivals and cookouts. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill passed by Congress that made Juneteenth, or June 19, a federal holiday.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the suspect or who may have witnessed the incident is urged to contact Detective Maio at 512-341-3135 or email rmaio@roundrocktexas.gov.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects involved in the shooting.

Uncommon Knowledge

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.