Santa Claus Opens Fire at Halloween Party, Four Wounded

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Police are investigating a shooting that occurred early Sunday morning during a Halloween party. A man, who was reportedly dressed as Santa Claus, opened fire on party-goers, leading three people to be hospitalized for their injuries. An additional victim refused medical treatment. The suspect was said to know the victims as he was attending the party.

As reported by the Austin American-Statesman, the shooting took place at a home in Austin, Texas, during a private party. After firing at other party-goers, the man dressed as Santa Claus fled the scene, heading to a house down the block where he “made contact” with other people, though no additional violence was reported.

Local police officers were able to locate the suspect, and he was taken into custody.

Two of the victims, a man in his 20s and a woman in her 30s, were reportedly critically injured during the shooting. The third, another woman in her 30s, sustained serious injuries.

According to police detective Lee Knouse, the suspect was also treated for injuries, though none were serious. It is not known how the man was injured as police officers who responded to the scene asserted force was not required during the arrest.

Police received a call about the shooting at 6:12 am local time on Sunday, arriving at the scene in the North Loop neighborhood of Central Austin.

Knouse stated, “The suspect was described as being dressed up as Santa Claus,” describing the scene where the shooting took place as “a holiday party, a Halloween party.”

The suspect was apprehended shortly after once police were notified of his new location, and the victims of the shooting were treated by EMS personnel before three were taken to an area hospital. All of the victims were attending the same Halloween party as the suspect.

According to Knouse, charges are pending in the shooting.