4 teenagers shot at Noel Night festivities, Detroit police say

Shots fired outside DIA at Farnsworth, John R streets

DETROIT – Four teenagers were shot at Noel Night festivities Saturday night, the Detroit Police Department said.

The shots were fired at the annual festivities, which draws tens of thousands of people to the city's Midtown neighborhood, near the Detroit Institute of Arts at Farnsworth and John R streets.

Four teens were shot Dec. 2, 2017 during the Noel Night festivities in Midtown Detroit. (WDIV)
Four teens were shot Dec. 2, 2017 during the Noel Night festivities in Midtown Detroit. (WDIV)

"We heard three gunshots and then we started running back that way," a teen said.

Chaos followed as families and groups of friends were enjoying Noel Night in Midtown.

Heavily armed police officers stormed the DIA after three teens were shot on John R Street outside the Michigan Science Center.

Congestion along Woodward Avenue near the DIA.
Congestion along Woodward Avenue near the DIA.

Sources say a 17-year-old girl got into a dispute with a man who opened fire. It's not clear if she knew the gunman.

Three males -- a 14-, 16- and 19-year-old -- were also shot. Sources say they may have been innocent bystanders.

The 14-year-old is listed in temporary serious condition. The other victims were listed in stable condition.

Witnesses told police that the shooter fired a gun at the ground, and the victims may have been hit by bullets that ricocheted off the ground.

The 45th annual Noel Night was canceled after the evening shooting.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said there was a heavy police presence, but he is re-evaluating staffing in light of the shooting.

"Certainly we don't deploy like we do say for a July Fourth fireworks celebration, so we are going to be looking at that going forward," Craig said. "Sometimes it's one incident like this that creates so much fear, but this should not be the incident that defines who we are."

The three victims all suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Tweets from Noel Night reported a large crowd of people fleeing the area after hearing gunshots. Fights were also reported in the area of the shooting.

Asked about police presence at Noel Night, Craig said it was "significant," though less than at Detroit's fireworks. The event may need more police next year, he said, adding officials may also need to rethink how children are left unsupervised at the event.

"One of the things we have seen here tonight (are) lots of young children here without parental supervision," Craig told Local 4. "Parents dropped their kids off, probably at the Science Museum, for a festive night. Not being critical, just saying we have to rethink, this is about public safety."

RELATED: Police presence, unsupervised kids could be reviewed at Detroit Noel Nights, Chief Craig says

Wayne State University said at 9:30 p.m. -- about a half hour before the official end -- that the event was shut down. People at the scene said police were sending people home as early as 9 p.m.

Helicopters were seen flying over Midtown shortly after the shooting.

The following was tweeted from Wayne State after the incident:

The Wayne State University campus went on lockdown Saturday night as a precautionary measure for all buildings, including libraries, school officials said. All activities have been canceled.

Here's Mann's interview with Craig at the scene:

DPD Chief Craig: two people shot in Midtown during Noel Night

Posted by Priya Mann on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Stay with Local 4 News and ClickOnDetroit.com for updates on this developing story.

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