2 people shot during Worcester's Caribbean Festival, near WPI

Both victims are expected to be OK, Worcester police said.

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Two people were shot Sunday during the Caribbean Festival at Institute Park in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Worcester police say officers assigned to the festival heard gunshots from the area of Salisbury and Boynton streets, which caused a chaotic scene where the large crowd was attempting to run to safety.



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Officers found two male victims -- ages 15 and 23 -- who were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The gunfire on Boynton Street brought the performances and entertainment to an abrupt halt.

Attendee Nigel Richards says he heard at least give gunshots before the music stopped.

"Everything was going good and then things just spiraled out of control," he said. "I seen the whole crowd just started charging backwards, everybody else started following them. And that's all it took, everything started shutting down."

The crowd dispersed and an investigation got underway. Police blocked off the area near Institute Park off Boynton Street near the intersection of Salisbury Street.

Officers were seen placing evidence markers on the ground near Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The university released a statement Sunday night saying no WPI students, faculty or staff were involved with or hurt as a result of the incident.

"While this situation did not take place on our campus, our hearts do go out to those who were injured or otherwise impacted," WPI's statement read.

According to police, both shooting victims appear to be innocent bystanders who were unrelated to the dispute and were not intentionally targeted.

"It could've been worse than what it is. I'm glad everybody still alive, you know?" I wish it never would've taken place," Richards said. "It's sad to know that a bunch of different cultures come together once a year and then you got ignorant people who probably don't even have the richness in the culture for that they're just here because they just want to come here and do things and they're going to ruin it for everybody else."

Izzy Walker agrees. He says he comes to the festival each year and he's worried this violence will keep people from coming back again next year.

"Maybe people are going to have a fear about coming here," he said.

No arrests have been made yet. Anyone with information is asked to call Worcester detectives at 508-799-8651. Anonymous texts can also be sent to 274637 with TIPWPD plus your message, or submit an anonymous web-based message at worcesterma.gov/police.

An investigation is ongoing.

Earlier Sunday, two people were stabbed in a separate incident in Worcester. Both of those victims are also expected to be OK, police said, and a 32-year-old Worcester man was arrested in connection to the double stabbing.

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