CALIFORNIA: Fourteen teenagers in the US state of California have been injured as three armed young men open fire at a crowd of 150 teenagers at a house party, police says.
The early Saturday morning incident was described by authorities and witnesses as a drive-by shooting in the city of Bakersfield, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, in which the three youths, who had reportedly been asked to leave the place earlier, returned with firearms and started shooting at party participants.
Spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Department Ray Pruitt described the suspects as black males between the ages of 16 and 19, but he said that as of Saturday night, no arrests had been made.
A girl who lives at the home where the shooting occurred was given permission to throw a party by her parents and promoted the party on social media, Pruitt said.
“At some point, people who were not invited showed up,” he said. The party swelled to at least 150 revelers and “at some point, it got out of control,” Pruitt added.
Authorities believe a verbal confrontation took place between two different groups in the backyard of the house, and several people were told to leave the party.
“They did leave, and we believe it was those individuals who left the party that came back and opened fire on the crowd,” Pruitt said, adding that investigators believe the shooting was gang-related.
The sheriff’s department said the incident was initially believed to be a drive-by shooting, but Pruitt said investigators now believe the three males got out of a vehicle, walked up to the crowd outside the home and opened fire before fleeing in the vehicle.
Authorities also believe that at least one person in the crowd returned fire.
Pruitt said his department does not have a description of the vehicle, and deputies have been having difficulty getting victims and witnesses to identify the shooters. – AFP