Arkansas police search for two suspects after gunfire broke out at a car show

One person killed and 27 wounded, including children
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Originally Published: 19 MAR 22 21:34 ET
Updated: 22 MAR 22 14:42 ET

(CNN) — Police are hunting two suspects after gunfire broke out Saturday at a car show in Dumas, Arkansas, killing one person and injuring at least 27, including several children.

“During a news conference yesterday the number of wounded was reported to be 28,” Arkansas State Police said on a Facebook post Monday. “The discrepancy appears to be attributed to one patient admitted locally and later transferred to another hospital.”

Five children between the ages of 19 months and 11 years old were among the wounded, the agency said Monday.

At a news conference Sunday afternoon, police identified the person killed as 23-year-old Cameron Shaffer of Jacksonville, Arkansas. There was no indication Schaffer was involved in act of shooting itself, they said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and also with all the families and our shooting victims as a result of this incident,” Col. Bill Bryant of the Arkansas State Police told reporters.

Police believe there was “no mass shooting intended,” with the incident triggered by two individuals who exchanged fire around 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) Saturday at the community car show.

The Dumas Police Department had one person in custody on unrelated charges, and police are searching for two additional suspects in connection with the shooting, Bryant said.

“It’s shocking,” he said. “We have a small community, a farming community in Dumas of 5,000 people and then we have an incident of multi-victims … You don’t expect that from small-town Arkansas.”

Gov. Asa Hutchinson spoke out on Twitter Sunday, saying the incident “represents a total disregard of the value of life.”

“As the investigation continues, I will examine details to see if there are any steps that could have been taken to prevent this type of tragedy,” Hutchinson said in the statement.

Children among victims of shooting

Earlier Sunday, state police said 24 people had been wounded in the incident, while Arkansas Children’s Hospital said it had treated six victims aged under 18.

The hospital said the children’s wounds were non-life-threatening and most of them had been released from the hospital following treatment.

“Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock received six patients under 18 with gun shot wounds from the incident, none fatal. Most of the patients have been treated and released,” Hilary DeMillo, media relations manager for the hospital, told CNN in an email.

Bryant told the news conference five children — aged 11, 9, 8, 23 months and 19 months — were transported to Arkansas Children’s Hospital after the incident and that police were working to verify whether a sixth child was involved. Five victims had since been released from the hospital, he said.

Family members identified three of the five children Monday. Angelo Ussery Sr. told CNN his 1-year-old son, Angelo Ussery Jr., was shot in the leg while at the show with his mother.

“When she called me she was in an uproar and I just broke down,” Ussery said. “I just had to find a way to get to this hospital I never been to before. “When I saw the wound, I couldn’t believe. He had a hole in his leg and they had to fly him to the children’s hospital.”

The child is expected to make a full recovery, his father said.

Frankie Spicer Sr. had a similar scare when friends began reaching out to him to let him know there was a shooting at the car show where his mother and two children were.

“I kept calling my mother but a stranger picked up and told me he didn’t know who the phone belonged to but there was a woman and a child laid out on the floor,” Spicer said.

Spicer told CNN his 11-year-old son, Frankie Spicer Jr., was shot in the hand and his 8-year-old daughter, Aaliyah Spicer, was shot in the leg while waiting in line for funnel cake. His mother, Felecia Kimble, was shot in the stomach.

“My daughter told me there were people stepping over them and my son told me he got up and ran to get help,” he said. “He ran to police and told them my mom and his little sister were shot.”

Spicer said police transported them to a local hospital. His family is expected to make a full recovery, he said.

Car show was part of an annual picnic

Arkansas State Police said in an earlier news release Sunday that special agents from its Criminal Investigation Division had interviewed victims and witnesses overnight. Investigators secured the scene, which sits along US Highway 65 as it goes through the center of Dumas, it said.

The car show was hosted by the Hood-Nic Foundation and Delta Neighborhood Empowerment Organization, a group providing educational programs and support for Dumas-area youth, according to their website. Dumas is about 80 miles southeast of Little Rock.

According to Delta N.E.Y.O website, the annual Hood-Nic, (Neighborhood Picnic) of which the car show has been a part for 16 years, takes place annually over spring break weekend to raise funds for “scholarships, school supplies, and more to deserving individuals.”

“We are heartbroken and in shock at what took place during tonight’s car show,” the Hood-Nic Foundation said in a Facebook post Saturday night.

“The purpose of Hood-Nic has always been to bring the community together,” the post said. “This senseless violence needs to end. Sending our prayers.”

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