Flint, MI—Multiple shots were fired at a pop-up party on Clio Road Saturday night, leaving six people wounded.
According to the Flint Police Department, multiple arrests have been made, weapons used in the shooting have been recovered, and there are more arrests to come.
Mayor Sheldon Neeley said at a press conference Sunday afternoon, that these parties are “illegal and not smart.”
But he said gun violence is not the only danger. Neeley spoke of a “silent killer” present at the party–COVID-19.
Dr. Bobby Mukkamala expressed his concern about the rise in COVID-19 cases in Flint at the press conference.
“Thankfully, it looks like we might escape last night without a death from a bullet,” Mukkamala said. “But as the math shows, with the mortality rate of 2% here in our area, those thousand people that end up being the cause of 100 infections, you can be sure that a couple people are going to die. Not from bullets, but from a microscopic virus.”
Neeley said the party had almost 3,000 people present and that Flint PD had tried to work proactively to stop the event before it even happened.
Organizers tried to obtain a permit to host the party but were denied. They had also tried to host the party at two different locations, but police told them that because of the size of their crowd, they could not.
Officers from the Flint PD and Michigan State Police arrived at the scene of the party in their new location to shut it down, when a fight broke out and shots were fired.
Neeley announced that in response to yesterday’s events, the city will be working with “local promoters” to organize safe community gatherings.
“Local promoters will be there bridging the gap between law enforcement, government, and those other promoters that may be wanting to engage in reckless behavior,” Neeley said. “They have a connection to the people who are participating as patrons to these activities.”
He said the organized parties will follow guidelines set by medical professionals, scientists, and the State of Michigan’s executive order regarding social distance laws. This means limiting the number of people and requiring masks at all times
The safety precautions regarding COVID-19 are clear, but those for gun violence are not.
“These individuals who engaged in shooting, they did so in the presence of police officers, knowing that they’re there,” Neely said at the press conference.
It’s unclear what will prevent shootings at organized parties from happening in the future but promoters say they will work with city officials to find solutions.
Delano Burton II is one of the four local promoters that reached out to Neeley following the shooting, offering help working with the city and the community to hold safer events.
When asked about what the security for future events would be like, Burton said, “that’s something that we have to figure out.”
“We have to figure out a better way to go about doing these social gatherings. How can we have a social gathering without violating people’s rights as well? You know, these people are in a public place,” Burton said.
Brandan Jamison, another local promoter working with the city, said they will “have a plan soon.”