A festive atmosphere in downtown Oklahoma City quickly turned violent Monday night when at least eight people were shot minutes after the Thunder defeated the Lakers in Game 5, according to police. Initial reports indicating only three victims proved to be too conservative. Two suspects are in custody.
The shootings occurred in Bricktown, an entertainment district just three blocks from Chesapeake Energy Arena. The streets were full of celebrating fans when the shooting occurred; in addition to the fans leaving the arena, thousands more had gathered to watch the game on a giant LED screen mounted on the side of the arena, part of the "Thunder Alley" block party hosted by the team.
From The Oklahoman:
"Preliminary reports indicate that eight people were shot and one person suffered blunt trauma, and that person was a pregnant woman," Oklahoma City police Capt. Dexter Nelson said.
"Everything is very, very preliminary. We still don't know the actual number of victims. We believe that one person is critical, and the other injuries are not believed to be life-threatening," Nelson said.
The Oklahoman reports that the pregnant woman is believed to have been kicked during the aftermath of the shootings. The team provided the following statement to the newspaper:
"It's unfortunate that it happened on a great night for Oklahoma City and the Thunder, but in our society those things happen," Oklahoma City Thunder spokesman Dan Mahoney said.
"It did not happen at the arena, at the game, at Thunder Alley," Mahoney said.
"We'll continue to work with law enforcement to provide a safe environment," he said.