Three people were injured at the Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie when gunfire broke out as a Lil Boosie concert was revving up.
Misinformation flew in the hour after the April 1 mass shooting. There were reports of a “mass casualty” event and reports of those shot varied from two to seven.
However, WTVR-TV reports that the Sheriff’s Department has now confirmed that two people were injured – possibly from gunfire – and a third victim was injured from “shards of glass in a car hit by gunfire.” The first two people were struck in the hand and leg, reported WTVR, but the station noted that police had not confirmed the wounds were from bullets.
Authorities also debunked social media reports of hostages being taken.
Details were still unfolding about the incident, including motive and suspect. One man at the park wrote on Facebook, “At the Virginia Motorsports park lil boosie was going to perform but somebody always acting stupid shooting and doing dumb sh-t.” A bike rally was also taking place.
The situation was very fluid.
Social media reports flew of a hostage situation, but authorities said there weren’t hostages.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bullets Also Struck Cars at the Virginia Motorsports Park
According to WTVR, “Police confirm multiple cars were struck by bullets.”
News stations reported early on that the shooting was a “mass casualty” event at Virginia Motorsports Park, however that doesn’t appear to be the case. As in many active shooter cases, early details can be wrong.
Scanner reports said three people were taken to hospitals.
Reporter Wayne Covil of WTVR reported these facts from the Sheriff’s Department: “No Deputies Shot. No Hostages at VMP or any other location in the County. Two persons shot, non life threatening injuries. Several cars hit by gunfire, no one in cars injured. Initial shot fired near stage then multiple shots fired at various locations in park. Petersburg, Chesterfield, Prince George, VSP and Va ABC all sent units to track 10-12,000 people were on hand for a rap concert.”
He reported that there were no arrests or suspects as the investigation continues.
Parker Slaybaugh of 8 news wrote “…At least two people shot. Jurisdictions from all over are responding.”
Witnesses and callers dialed up NBC 12 to report there was a shooting at the park.
The race track was founded in 1994. Its Facebook page says “We are a state of the art NHRA facility with over 35 Feature Events in North Dinwiddie, VA.”
2. The Shooting Reportedly Occurred as Lil Boosie Was About to Perform & a Witness Reported People Running & Crying
One woman who was at the park wrote on Facebook, “It was bad. People were running and crying. Then trying to get out was a nightmare.” Others reported traffic at a standstill. Another man wrote on Facebook, “I’m stuck 100 yards from the entrance…”
Witness Brent Lamb told WRIC that “he was watching the performances waiting for Lil Boosie to perform when he heard shots being fired. At that point, people started running away. He joined the crowd and ran to the parking lot. Lamb said there was more shooting in the parking lot, and that in all, the shooting must have gone on for about 20 minutes.”
Virginia Motorsports Park is located at 8018 Boydton Plank Road in northern Dinwiddie near Petersburg, according to NBC12.
According to the park’s Facebook page, there was a “Big 5 State Bike Rally” on Saturday that was expected to draw nearly 10,000 people to the area, the television state reported. The top Facebook post on the park’s page says, “Gates are Open. $40 Gate admission. $10 inside pit parking. Everything is on schedule on stage and the pits except for racing. We will try and be on the race track by 3pm.”
On Facebook, people wrote unconfirmed reports of the shooting spreading to nearby businesses, but confusion might have occurred because of the massive police response. One man wrote, “This crowd that came out today have been wild all day. I live right at it and have seen some crazy things today.”
3. One Woman Reported the Possibility of Hostages but a Reporter Says That’s Not the Case
A woman tweeted on April 1: “Active shooter situation with 3 known gsw victims. Reported to me by my daughter’s friend. Hostages have been taken.”
However, the WTVR reporter says the Sheriff’s Department says there are not hostages.
4. Additional Shots Rang Out as EMTs Headed to the Scene
According to WTVR, as paramedics rushed to the scene, more shots rang out.
“Sources say mutual aide from Fort Lee, Petersburg, Chesterfield and Colonial Heights have responded to the scene,” WTVR reported.
5. Numerous Events Were Planned Throughout the Day
According to WRIC, the Virginia Motorsports Park website says that the 2nd Annual Spring Fest was scheduled for April 1. “As part of the festivities, there was supposed to be a bike rally, a car show and a musical performance from Lil Boosie and others.”
This post will be updated as more facts are known about the mass shooting.