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Mass Shooting at Juneteenth Festival, 2 Dead

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Tragedy struck the annual Juneteenth festival in Round Rock, Texas, on the night of June 15, 2024, when a shooting left two people dead and 14 others injured. The incident took place around 10:50 p.m. at Old Settlers Park, a favored location for the yearly event.

An altercation between two groups near the vendor area sparked the chaos, according to the Round Rock Police Department. In the ensuing pandemonium, at least one person brandished a gun and started firing. Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks, during a press briefing, remarked, “It breaks your heart for a family that was coming out to enjoy their evening, and now their life is forever changed as a result of somebody who couldn’t care less about somebody else’s life.”

The deceased have been identified as Ara Duke, 54, from Pflugerville, and Lyndsey Vicknair, 33, from Manor. Round Rock police confirmed that neither Duke nor Vicknair were involved in the initial dispute. Fourteen other individuals, including four adults and two children, sustained potentially serious injuries and were rushed to local trauma centers.

Emergency responders on the scene performed lifesaving measures, applying tourniquets and providing CPR. The Austin-Travis County EMS was instrumental in transporting the injured to hospitals for further medical attention, demonstrating the importance of their quick response in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

The investigation is still underway, but the Lonestar Fugitive Task Force arrested 17-year-old Ricky Thompson III on Thursday morning, June 20 in Pflugerville. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is being held in the Williamson County Jail. A second male juvenile was arrested on Friday night.

Scheduled activities for the morning after the shooting at the park were canceled to prioritize the investigation and public safety. However, the park reopened in the afternoon for Father’s Day events. The Juneteenth Festival, a celebration of African American freedom and culture, is a locally treasured event organized by the city government and local nonprofit organizations.

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