A pair of shootings amid Halloween revelry in Los Angeles on Wednesday night — one in Hollywood, the other at the University of Southern California's campus — left at least two people in critical condition and at least another five wounded.
At least three people were shot in Hollywood during Halloween celebrations that became unruly, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, and in a separate shooting, one person was in custody after a shooting at USC left four people wounded outside a Halloween event.
The Hollywood shooting went down shortly before 10 p.m., Los Angeles police Sgt. Andrew Chao of the Hollywood Station told City News Service. There, Chao said, a 17-year-old boy was shot in the chest and leg and taken to the hospital in critical condition, while a 14-year-old boy was shot in the foot and a 25-year-old man was struck in the buttocks. The pair was also transported to the hospital.
It was not immediately clear whether the shooter or shooters were apprehended, though aerial footage of the scene showed at least two people being detained by LAPD officers.
Officers had already been deployed in the area due to Halloween celebrations. Unruly crowds began to form up and down Hollywood Boulevard throughout the night, and it appeared that as soon as officers stabilized one area, another area would erupt in violence.
Early reports suggested revelers were fighting and throwing bottles, and dozens of cops in riot gear — as well as throngs of officers on mounted patrol, bicycles and motorcycles as well as LAFD crews — started descending on the scene shortly after largely costumed crowds spilled into traffic, ran in between cars and confronted officers starting as early as 9:30 p.m.
At USC, meanwhile, a dispute between two non-students led to the shooting around 11:45 p.m. that left one victim in critical condition, according to Assistant Chief John Thomas of the USC Department of Pubic Safety.
Two people were initially detained in the shooting, said Cmdr. Bob Green, of the LAPD Southwest Division.
"The intended target is in critical condition. At one point, we know a gun came out. He was targeted because he was involved in an argument with the shooter," Green said. He said the other three victims have non-life-threatening injuries.
One person was released Thursday morning, and a gun was recovered, police said.
Witnesses told NBC4 that about 150 to 200 people were waiting to enter the Halloween event when two individuals began arguing at the back of the line. Only guests with student identification were allowed into the party.
"All of the sudden, we heard gunshots," said student Matt Hamilton. "You hear one, and it jolts you. You hear another, so four, maybe five, all within a few seconds."
Astrid Solorzano and a friend took cover against a bench as people ran from the location.
"It was frantic," said Solorzano. "There were a lot of people who were scared. We saw tears in people's eyes."
Fourteen Campus Department of Public Safety officers were assigned to cover the event.
USC's Department of Public Safety had issued a Trojan Alert, asking students to "shelter in place and avoid opening doors for unknown persons," according to the campus newspaper the Daily Trojan.
They have since sent out an alert that read: "The scene is secure at the Tutor Campus Center on The University Park campus. There is an ongoing police investigation in progress."