Two people were killed and three others injured in a shooting in Deep Ellum early Friday morning, Dallas police said.
At around 2 a.m. officers responded to the 2800 block of Elm Street near North Crowdus Street, where police say two men approached a man standing on the sidewalk, an altercation broke out and shots were fired “immediately”.
Officers were already patrolling Deep Ellum as part of their routine duties, so they responded “within seconds”, police said. Police have increased their presence in the popular nightspot east of downtown Dallas after an upsurge in violence that includes other fatal shootings.
On Friday, a total of five men were hit by bullets, including two “caught in the crossfire”, police said.
Jermaine Lewis, 42, and Quintin Lowe, 31, were pronounced dead in hospital. Police declined to say whether the two men who died were the ones caught in the crossfire.
The condition of the three injured people and the extent of their injuries were not immediately available.
Two people are in custody in connection with the shooting, but police have not identified them.
The investigation is ongoing, but police say everyone involved has been identified and there is no threat to the public.
The shooting comes after a series of violent crimes
Friday’s shooting was just one of many violent crimes in the popular entertainment district, including another mass shooting as recently as September in which two people were killed and four others were injured.
In August, a man speeding west on the 2600 block of Elm Street rammed his truck into a pedestrian, a Dallas police horse and a car. That same month, a man was fatally stabbed in a parking lot near Main Street and the Good Latimer Freeway. Other violence included a musician run over by a duo who stole his band’s tour van in October, and two people shot and wounded by a gunman, also in the 2800 block of Elm Street, last month.
Last fall, Dallas Police Chief Eddie García vowed to “take back Deep Ellum” for residents and patrons.
“There isn’t an entertainment district in any major city in America that isn’t susceptible to violence,” he said. The Dallas Morning News at the time. “And unfortunately, it does happen. But when this happens, due to the fact that these areas are so crowded, police departments must respond accordingly. This is why we are going to be more present.
García has previously cited large crowds, as well as the involvement of alcohol in impairing judgment, as the biggest challenges for policing the district.
In “the interest of public safety,” Dallas police began closing certain streets in Deep Ellum to vehicular traffic on Friday and Saturday nights last month.
While closures are implemented every summer, police spokeswoman Kristin Lowman said this year’s closures started early due to warmer weather and increased foot traffic.
Anyone with information about Friday’s shooting can contact Detective Scott Sayers at 214-671-3647 or firstname.lastname@example.org.