(YUMA, Ariz.) — More than 30 shots were fired at a weekend house party in Yuma, Arizona, that left two young men dead and five teenagers wounded, authorities said.
The two people killed during the party Saturday night at a home in the southeast Yuma neighborhood were identified as 20-year-old Ande Blackthunder and 19-year-old Danny Garcia, Yuma Police Chief Thomas Garrity said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
“The biggest thing I want the general public to understand is that this was not a random event,” Garrity said. “Everyone knew each other. There was a party that got out of hand.”
Garrity said several weapons were recovered from the scene and investigators continue to work to identify those responsible for the deadly gunfire. He asked anyone with information about the episode to contact the police.
“We want to talk to everyone because we want to make sure that we get the people who are responsible for this and hold them responsible for this heinous event,” Garrity said.
A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible, police said.
The gunfire erupted about 10:54 p.m. Saturday when an altercation broke out at the party that had grown from just a few people in attendance to more than 100 after word of the party was posted on social media, Garrity said.
“We can confirm that this was a house party that was going on and that all individuals involved in this are known to each other,” Garrity said.
He said four off-duty law enforcement officers were in the area at the time of the shooting, heard the gunfire, responded to the scene and began providing first aid to those injured and assisting arriving on-duty officers.
He said one of the gravely wounded victims, Garcia, was taken to a hospital by private car prior to police arriving. The teenager was pronounced dead at Yuma Regional Medical Center a short time after being taken there, police said.
Officers found Blackthunder at the scene suffering from a gunshot wound and he was taken by the Yuma Fire Department to Yuma Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Five other teenagers, ranging in age from 15 to 19, were wounded, Garrity said. Two remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday afternoon and three were treated and released on Sunday morning, Garrity said.
The chief said the owner of the home where the shooting occurred was out of town and that a relative hosted the party that prompted an earlier noise complaint that officers did not respond to.
“That night, there were a lot of parties going on throughout the Yuma community with all the graduations and stuff,” said Garrity, adding that the noise complaint was made about 55 minutes before the shooting while officers were tied up on other calls. “There was no indication that there was any type of violence going on, which would have made it a priority one call.”
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