Skip to content

Juneteenth festival cut short following reported gunfire


Authorities determine it was a hoax

Just just minutes before headliner and Grammy-winning R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan was to go onstage at Monday’s Juneteenth Festival in Leimert Park,  some people began to panic and flee after hearing reports of a shooting. As a precaution, Sullivan canceled her performance, ending the event an hour early.

Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Drake Madison said officers in the area responded at 7:50 p.m. to multiple calls of a shooting near the intersection of Leimert Boulevard and Stocker Street.

Upon arriving, Madison said, police found no evidence that a shooting had occurred. But a few minutes later, officers responded to reports of a group fighting at a McDonald’s 2,000 feet southwest from their location.

Videos on social media show a small crowd inside the restaurant screaming and yelling. Some people are standing on tables while others force their way behind the counter and try to take the cashier boxes.

At least one person is seen slamming a cashier box on the ground, causing money to spill on the ground. Dozens of people run over to grab the cash.

Madison said at least one person was arrested in connection with the robbery. The name of that person has not been released, and the incident remains under investigation, he said.

After the chaos, Sullivan wrote a statement on her Instagram account: “I hope everyone made it home to their loved ones tonight! I’m so disappointed we couldn’t come together and celebrate Juneteenth! If you’re still at the park please leave. The show is canceled [crying emoji].”

Still Rising Corp., the festival’s organizer, wrote on Instagram that the event was ended early for the safety of attendees and area residents.

“As we continue to look into further details on reported incidents, we are working with the proper authorities,” it wrote. “We remain committed to creating impactful events that highlight the importance of diversity, equality and the ongoing pursuit of freedom.”

The crowd stampedes were believed to have started when people began running and knocked over a vendor’s tent. Someone said “gun,” according to one festival attendee, causing more people to panic and flee.