A festival meant to celebrate the end of slavery turned tragic on Saturday, when a 15-year-old was arrested in the shooting of an 11-year-old boy.
Normally held in Columbus, Ohio, the Juneteenth Festival was canceled on Saturday after the shooting, which sent an 11-year-old boy to the hospital with a gunshot wound, NBC News reports. "I never heard that Juneteenth got canceled. That's the problem. I mean if we heard something we wouldn't be here," Timothy Clark, a would-be attendee of Juneteenth, told NBC News.
Columbus police said that the 11-year-old victim was taken from the Franklin Park festival site to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the thigh, NBC News reports. The Juneteenth shooting victim remains in stable condition and has yet to be officially identified.
Meanwhile, authorities announced the arrest of Lovauntea J. Mickens, 15, in connection with the Juneteenth shooting, the Columbus Dispatch reports. The Columbus teenager has been charged with felonious assault.
A woman identifying herself as Mickens’ foster mother told NBC News Sunday that the 15-year-old had only arrived at her home on Friday, the day before the Juneteenth shooting. Columbus police noted that they are looking to Mickens’ possible “affiliations.”
For festivalgoers, the Juneteenth Shooting undermined an event that is meant to be a celebration of peace and harmony. "I actually saw a young boy fall to his knees," Rich Reed, a booth worker, told NBC News.
The shooting wasn’t the Juneteenth Festival’s only brush with violence. Four juveniles were reportedly arrested for fighting before the shooting took place, police told the Dispatch.
The Juneteenth shooting took place after the three-day festival had already started, NBC News reports. The event, which originated in Galveston, Texas, is meant to celebrate the 1865 emancipation of African-American slaves at the end of the Civil War.