2 dead in shooting at crowded rural music festival in Georgia

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Investigators are looking for those responsible for the shooting that killed two people at a music festival in east central Georgia.

Local media reports that the Sandersville shooting killed 17-year-old William Mykell Lowery and 30-year-old Christopher “Scooter” Dunn.

The pair were attending a Freaknik festival at a local park. Freaknik was once a spring break festival in Atlanta attended by students from historically black colleges and universities. But the name is now used by music promoters for nationwide dances, concerts and events. Sandersville is about 165 kilometers southeast of Atlanta.

Witnesses said the shooting sparked a stampede.

“You just heard gunshots, then the whole crowd started running. Everybody just started hiding behind cars and stuff and a lot of people ran in with cars because the whole lot was packed,” Timothy Pace told WJBF-TV.

Washington County Sheriff Joel Cochran told WMAZ-TV that the first deputy arrived to find up to a thousand people present.

“Once we arrived at the scene, more shots were fired. He radioed for help and there, far away, he found a victim who had been shot. We later found out that another person had been shot and taken to hospital by a civilian,” Cochran said.

Pace said the crowded event had little security and no one checked for weapons.

Cochran’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are handling the investigation.

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