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Two killed in shooting at festival campsite

Police say a gunman began shooting "randomly" into a crowd in the camping area of Beyond Wonderland at The Gorge

By James Hanley on 19 Jun 2023

Gorge Amphitheatre

image © Daniel/Wikimedia

Two people were killed and three others injured following a shooting in the camping area of US electronic music festival Beyond Wonderland at The Gorge.

Police say a gunman began shooting “randomly” into a crowd at the event’s campsite, several hundred yards away from the concert venue, at around 8.25pm on Saturday (17 June).

The suspected gunman was eventually captured and taken into custody. No further details have been made available, pending an investigation. Information about shooting victims will not be released until the on-site investigation is complete, and the victims’ families have been notified.

The Insomniac-promoted festival was held at the 27,500-cap Gorge Amphitheatre, near George, Washington State, about 150 miles east of Seattle.

Speaking at a press conference, Kyle Foreman, public information officer for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, tells reporters: “We don’t know what the motives were or what the intentions were of the shooter and we’ll have to wait and see if we can find that information out later on.”

“We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the local authorities and staff who acted quickly to manage the situation”

The sold-out festival continued as planned on Saturday night, but its second day was cancelled in the wake of the tragedy. DJs on the bill included Marshmello, Afrojack, Andy C, Sub Focus, KX5, Dillon Francis and Justin Hawkes.

“Due to the incident that took place in the overflow camping area last night, we regret to inform you that Day 2 of Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge has been cancelled,” says a statement from organisers. “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the local authorities and staff who acted quickly to manage the situation. Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to the family, friends and all those affected by this tragic event.”

The incident came just a week after a 35-year-old man was killed and another injured in a shooting at a concert in Spring Valley Park, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis debuted “gun-free zones” policy at Elevation Group’s WonderRoad Music Festival, headlined by Weezer and Jason Isbell, in Garfield Park over the weekend. IndyStar reports that “gun-free zones”, announced by the city in late May, would involve the city helping private groups who have leased a public space for an event to enforce a gun-free policy by sending additional law enforcement, which the city is allowed to do under Indiana law.

It notes that last year’s Music Midtown festival in Atlanta, Georgia, was cancelled amid an apparent conflict between the festival’s no guns policy and an appeals court ruling that made it more difficult for private companies to ban firearms on public property leased for short-term events.


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