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3 killed, 7 wounded when gunfire erupts at Indiana July 4th block party

A Lafayette, Indiana man was among three killed and seven wounded in a shooting during a July Fourth block party in Gary, Indiana.

GARY, Ind. — Gunfire during a July Fourth block party in northwestern Indiana left three dead and seven wounded early Tuesday morning, police said. 

The shooting happened at around 12:45 a.m. in the 1900 block of Missouri Street, which is in a residential neighborhood of Gary, Indiana. 

Investigators believe a holiday block party was happening at the time when gunfire rang out. 

Officers who responded found three people down and unresponsive, city police Lt. Dawn Westerfield said. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Lake County Coroner's Office said those killed included a 26-year-old man from Lafayette, Indiana; a 25-year-old man from Merrillville, Indiana; and a 20-year-old woman from Olympia Fields, Illinois.

Seven other people were also shot. The gunshot victims were transported to area hospitals by ambulance as well as personal cars. Authorities have released no information on the severity of their injuries.

The Gary Police Department said that "due to the enormity of the scene," police called for backup from surrounding police agencies. 

Investigators are trying to determine the circumstances of the shooting, including whether more than one shooter was involved.

On July 5, 2022 approximately 12:46 AM Gary Officers were dispatched to the 1900 block of Missouri Street for several...

Posted by Gary Police Department on Tuesday, July 5, 2022

This shooting was among the many acts of violence that took place over the holiday. 

To Gary's west, a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on Chicago's north shore, left six dead and 30 wounded. 

As the gunman opened fire from a rooftop overlooking the parade, hundreds of marchers, parents with strollers and children on bicycles fled in terror, police said. 

Authorities said a man named as a person of interest in the shooting was taken into police custody Monday evening after an hourslong manhunt.

Credit: AP
A Lake County police officer walks down Central Ave in Highland Park, Ill. on Monday, July 4, 2022, after a shooter fired on the northern suburb's Fourth of July parade. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP)

And in central Indiana, violence consumed headlines

Just hours after the Chicago shooting, two children, ages 8 and 10, were critically injured and an adult is said to now be stable after someone shot at an east Indianapolis Fourth of July celebration.

"We have initial reason to believe this was an unprovoked attack, that the suspects arrived on the scene and opened fire on a crowd that was having a Fourth of July celebration," said IMPD Capt. Mike Leepper.

IMPD said the person responsible for the shooting "has a lack of compassion for human life" and that officers will leave no stone unturned in bringing those involved to justice.  

"They were having a cookout with a bounce house, there were several children present and several adults as well, opened fire into the crowd and then fled the scene," Leepper said.

Credit: WTHR/Bill Ditton

In the overnight hours, shootings continued throughout Indianapolis, with one person killed and six others injured between 12:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.

In addition to these shootings, there were two people killed in Indianapolis over the weekend and 13 others wounded in several shootings and stabbings. 

RELATED: 1 dead, 6 others injured in Indianapolis shootings Tuesday morning

RELATED: 2 dead, 13 injured in wave of holiday weekend violence across Indianapolis

It was during this weekend that 15 Indianapolis churches launched a new campaign, preaching a simple message of nonviolence to young people: "don't lose your cool."

The campaign was the focus of sermons on Sunday. And, through programs planned all summer, it will teach young people how to deescalate conflict and safely deal with anger.

"We'll have kickbacks on Fridays for young people to teach them how to really resolve conflict. We have barbershop talks that are going to take place starting here in the month of July," said Ken Sullivan, Jr., senior pastor at New Direction Church.

RELATED: Indy churches launch 'Don't Lose Your Cool' campaign as temperatures rise and tempers flare

According to IMPD, 49 children were victims of nonfatal shootings in Indianapolis as of July 1. And, when temperatures rise, tempers tend to flare. Pastor Sullivan has seen the cost of it all. He's had to bury 30 young victims of gun violence — kids as young as 11.

The "Don't Lose Your Cool" sign outside his church right now is more than a slogan. Sullivan said it's a mission encouraging young people to make better choices and to keep them safe.

Credit: WTHR
More than a dozen Indianapolis churches are taking part in the "Don't Lose Your Cool" campaign, which preaches a simple message of nonviolence.

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