The three men shot and killed at point blank range at a Wisconsin auto racing event on Sunday were all known gang members, authorities say.
The shooter may have targeted the three as part of an ongoing gang rivalry, according to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s department.
“The victims were known gang members,” Sgt. Mark Malecki told Associated Press.
The first reports of the shooting came in at around 7 p.m. on Sunday from the Great Lakes Dragaway in southern Wisconsin.
The shooter approached the three men while they were standing near a food vendor in the drag strip’s parking lot, shooting them at point blank range, Chicago Tribune reported.
Two men died at the scene. The third man died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. All three were from Aurora, a suburb of Chicago.
The suspect is still at large as of Monday. On Sunday, police were looking for a black male in his 20s wearing a black hoodie and jean shorts. He may have left the scene in a black vehicle.
Deputies with the sheriff’s department responded to a sighting of a suspicious character that matched the suspect’s description at a BP gas station in Bristol, an hour after the shooting, the Journal Times reported. The man was agitated, had a dead cellphone, and was asking for the address of the gas station.
The deputies were spotted escorting him by ambulance to St. Catherine’s Medical Center.
The sheriff’s department estimated that some 5,000 people attended the racing event known as Larry’s Fun Fest.
Authorities say that the event attracts a lot of people from Milwaukee. There was some trouble at the event last year as well. Union Grove is 25 miles south of Milkwaukee.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth is hoping witnesses will come forward with help.
“A lot of people may not have wanted to come up and talk to the sheriff’s department initially because maybe they were afraid someone was going to see them,” Beth said. “So what I’m hoping happens is someone who knows what’s going on or saw what happened will call us, give us more information and help us catch the individual who did this.”
The friends of the victims did not know the motive for the shooting, according to interviews with the sheriff’s department.
“They have no idea what happened, what caused this,” the sheriff said.
No other people were injured in the shooting.
Steve Prince attended the event with his grandmother. He heard people talking about shots being fired and decided to leave, but it took two hours to leave the venue.
On the way out, Prince saw three men lying on the ground near police tape. First responders were attending to one of them.
More Details Revealed on James Fields, Man Accused of Ramming Car into Protesters in Charlottesville
More details on the man accused of killing a woman after plowing his Dodge Challenger through a group of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, have been released.
“He was very infatuated with the Nazis, with Adolf Hitler,” his high school teacher, Derek Weimer, told Cincinnati’s WPCO.
James Fields Jr. had an interest in history, namely with “German military history and World War II. But, he was pretty infatuated with that stuff,” Weimer told the station.
Weimer described him as respectful of others, but had “radical ideas” on race.
“I developed a good rapport with him and used that rapport to constantly try to steer him away from those beliefs to show clear examples—why that thinking is wrong, why their beliefs were evil, you know, things like that,” Weimer told WCPO, adding that he was on antipsychotic medication.
The 20-year-old was charged with second-degree murder and a slew of other charges.
Meanwhile, a new video angle of the incident emerged and was posted on YouTube (warning: disturbing), showing the Challenger hitting the group of people, sending bodies into the air. Then, immediately after the collision, a group of bat-wielding people gather around the vehicle and start hitting it. That’s before the driver backs up at high speed, knocking several of them to the ground.
Photos uploaded to the New York Daily News and other websites appear to show Fields holding a shield with the Vanguard America logo. The organization, on Twitter, denied he’s a member.
News outlets on Sunday reported that the lone fatality in the car crash was a woman, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who worked as a paralegal.
“She was there with her friends and she was trying to simply cross the street as the movement was breaking up that day and she was plowed down by a young man who was intent on spreading hate and thought hate would fix the world,” Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, told NBC News.