Halloween parties over the weekend turned deadly, with two separate and deadly incidents early Sunday morning leaving a number of people dead and injured.
The Texas Halloween party shooting occurred in the city of San Antonio. According to CBS News, a group of men arrived at the Halloween party at around 5 a.m. early Sunday morning, one of them dressed as popular horror film character Freddy Krueger. It is not clear if the men had been invited to the gathering, but a dispute soon erupted. The man dressed as Freddy Krueger brandished a gun he had concealed in his costume and opened fire on the crowd, shooting at least five of the Halloween party-goers, four men and one woman.
Police officials say that three of those injured in the San Antonio Halloween party shooting were taken to the hospital. The woman who had been shot apparently attempted to drive herself to the hospital, but crashed her vehicle in the process. However, KSAT, a local San Antonio news outlet, reports that due to the confusion at the Halloween party, there may have been more injured who chose to leave the area rather than seek medical treatment.
As of yet, San Antonio police have not been able to find the men involved in the Halloween party shooting, nor the Freddy Krueger shooter himself, as the men immediately fled the scene. Finding them is problematic, police say, because they were all costumed.
Freddy Krueger is a signature character in the American horror film lexicon. The central figure of the Nightmare On Elm Street series of horror films, Krueger is instantly recognizable to horror fans by way of his terribly scarred face and, notably, his signature hat and striped sweater. The popularity of the character, portrayed as a murderous, supernatural sociopath and created by famed horror director Wes Craven, leads many to choose to portray him in their costumes during the Halloween party season.
The New York Halloween party shooting occurred in Newburgh, New York, some 70 miles from New York City. Newburgh police responded to numerous calls about a shooting at a Halloween party at an apartment complex on Broadway around 1 a.m. early Sunday morning. After arriving on the scene, police officials discovered that, as with the San Antonio Halloween party shooting, the suspected shooter or shooters had already fled the scene. In the Newburgh case, seven people were shot, two of them fatally.
The deceased, according to police officials and The Huffington Post, were two young women, identified as Tabitha Cruz, 20, and Omani Free, 18, both of whom were Newburgh locals. Ms. Cruz was pronounced dead on the scene, while Ms. Free later died in treatment at the local St. Lukes Cornwall Hospital. Ms. Free’s father, Omar, described finding out about the deadly Halloween party incident.
“She was just at a party, and the next thing I find out, I get a phone call saying my daughter got shot in the head,” he said. “I’m devastated right now. It’s hard. She’s my oldest daughter.”
Rhonda Valentine-Free, Ms. Free’s mother, said that she had gone out herself that night and did not know her daughter had decided to attend the Halloween party, though she had been to social functions at the Broadway apartment complex before. She and Omar received word of the incident from a friend of their son, who had also attended the party and was witness to the shooting.
“She was a sweet girl,” Valentine-Free said. “She was my chocolate baby.”
The others injured during the Newburgh, New York Halloween party shooting are expected to make full recoveries. Anyone with information was asked to call Newburgh police at (845) 561-3131.
[Featured Image by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]