Juneteeth festival canceled after double shooting in Asheville

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A two-day Juneteenth Festival in a popular North Carolina tourist city came to an abrupt halt after two juveniles were wounded in a shooting.

The News & Observer reports that all activities planned for Sunday at Asheville’s Pack Square Park were canceled after the shooting occurred on Saturday as festivities drew to a close on the first day of the festival.

“We are saddened that a day of celebration and community unity was darken by a cloud of violence. We pray for the healthy recovery of the victims, for justice to prevail, and that all community members be safe and at peace,” Oralene A.G. Simmons, president of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County, wrote in a Facebook post.

Asheville police said in a news release that the shooting happened just before 9 p.m. in the Court Plaza area of Pack Square Park. Police said that when officers arrived, they found two juveniles with gunshot wounds. Both were taken to Mission Hospital with serious injuries. One was released, while the other remains in critical but stable condition.

Police said a 16-year-old was taken into custody and identified as “the principal offender.”

The suspect’s identity was not immediately released. The teen is charged with two counts of felonious assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. Police recovered a 9mm pistol.

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