LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CNN) — Gunfire erupted at an annual Thanksgiving Day football game in Kentucky, leaving at least two dead and four others wounded, Louisville Metro Police said Thursday.
The shootings, shortly before 2 p.m., happened during what locals know as the annual Juice Bowl, which fills Shawnee Park with children and parents for a series of holiday football games, CNN affiliate WAVE reported.
The shooting suspects were at large and the motive for the gunfire was unclear, according to Dwight Mitchell, a spokesman for the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Four people were rushed to hospitals. Their condition is unknown but Mitchell described their injuries as not life threatening.
“This is very tragic,” Mitchell said. “I’m saddened. We’ve had over 100 homicides in our city. … It is a day to be thankful and we’re thankful that more people were not hurt.”
Relatives and friends of the dead and wounded could be seen crying inconsolably and trying to get by police tape that crisscrossed the shooting scene, according to video shot by WAVE. Police vehicles were scattered across an open field.
Mayor Greg Fischer was in the park about 200 yards from where the shooting started, mayoral spokesman Chris Poynter said. Fischer was whisked away by his security detail.
“We’ve had the annual Juice Bowl event going on for decades,” Poynter said. “It’s a family event. It’s a festive atmosphere now marred by senseless violence.”
In a Facebook message, Fischer said: “To have people with guns so disrespect life, Shawnee Park, and neighborhood tradition is sad and has no place in our city.”
He urged residents with information to contact police.
“Witnesses who remain silent, as has been the case with too many shootings in the past, will solve nothing,” he wrote.