The Halloween season is one that pretty much exists just for fun. People dress up in costumes and have a good time, regardless of age in many cases. While the kids are getting ready to trick-or-treat, adults often find themselves at parties. After all, unless you worry about evil spirits, there’s not much to dislike about dressing up in silly costumes for a night.
Couple that with the normal reasons to have a party and there’s a lot of celebration going on this time of the year.
Unfortunately, sometimes a large group of people just means a greater opportunity for something bad to happen.
Three men were fatally shot and at least nine other people injured in a shooting in Long Beach, Calif., on Tuesday night, the authorities said.
The shooting occurred on the 2700 block of Seventh Street in the Southern California city during a Halloween party at a private home, according to fire officials and local news outlets.
The motive for the attack was not immediately clear. The police said they were looking for several suspects, according to KTLA 5, a local news station.
The Long Beach Fire Department said in a post on Twitter that it responded to the shooting shortly before 11 p.m.
At 10:44 pm, @lbfirefighters responded to shooting at a residence on the 2700 block of 7th Street. An MCI was declared with a total of 12 patients. 3 confirmed fatalities (adult males) 9 patients transported to local area hospitals. 5 immediate & 4 delayed. PIO onscene. pic.twitter.com/k8txxNqZfL
— Long Beach Fire (CA) (@LBFD) October 30, 2019
A spokesman for the Fire Department, Jake Heflin, told reporters that firefighters had arrived to a scene “full of chaos.”
Right now, information is still very limited. However, CNN reports that the suspects fled from the scene after the shooting.
The federal definition of mass murder is four or more people killed in a single incident and people more or less define a mass shooting as four or more people shot and killed in a single incident, meaning this doesn’t quite rise to that level. However, it’s no less shocking and upsetting.
However, it’s also possible this wasn’t some random shooting.
It’s possible that, like the shooting in Texas over the weekend, this was a targeted attack. Long Beach has some pretty rough neighborhoods. It doesn’t look like this home was located in one of the rough areas, though, but that doesn’t mean violence can’t spill out of those neighborhoods. We simply don’t know, though. Declarations either way are mere speculation.
As of right now, we find ourselves looking at another shooting that’s on the cusp of a mass shooting by definition, but close enough that many won’t see much of a difference. This is similar to the Gilroy shooting in California earlier this summer. That incident also had a death toll just short of the standard definition.
Not that definitions are really what’s important right now. Today, three families are going to be in mourning. At least nine other people will be dealing with injuries, though there may be more as officials believe it’s possible that some were able to seek medical care on their own and thus aren’t part of the tally.
Police have not released any information about the suspects, so we don’t know who folks in Long Beach should keep an eye out for, much less why they would do something like this. Regardless, though, there are questions that need to be answered.
In the meantime, there are five of the nine wounded categorized as “serious.” Let’s all pray they don’t raise the death toll any further and that all make a full recovery.