As dozens of kids played and people picnicked Thursday afternoon at Memorial Park in Uvalde, Texas, gunfire interrupted in what authorities believe was gang-related violence about a mile and a half from the now-shuttered elementary school where 21 people were killed in May by a teenage gunman.
Two people were shot around 5:30 p.m., police said.
Authorities on Friday identified the victims as 18-year-old Bruce Brown, who was hospitalized and in stable condition, and a 16-year-old, who was also hospitalized and was in stable but critical condition.
Four suspects were arrested in connection with the shooting, police said. CNN has contacted the police to get further information on the charges. One of the suspects was in the hospital because of injuries sustained in the incident but will be served an arrest warrant upon release, police said.
The shooting is believed to be “gang-related,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told CNN.
When the gunfire erupted, Celeste Ibarra was at the park with her daughter Aubriella, who suffers from PTSD and depression from the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School; she was a third-grader on the day 19 of her schoolmates and two teachers were gunned down, she told CNN.
The Ibarras had enjoyed their day at the park with other family members and were loading their car to leave when gunfire broke out between the slides and basketball courts.
“A lot of kids were ducking and diving again,” Ibarra said. “It was horrible.”
State troopers responded quickly to the park and escorted people out, she added.
Memorial Park is near the Uvalde town square, where a makeshift memorial was established to honor those killed in the May shooting – the deadliest school shooting in the United States since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
The park shooting came just days after the new school year began.
Ibarra didn’t see anyone hit by the bullets, she said.
The investigation is open and active, police said Friday.
“We are working with the Uvalde Police Department and Sheriff’s Office following a suspected gang related shooting at Memorial Park,” the Texas Department of Public Safety tweeted. “This information is preliminary, as the situation develops we will work with local law enforcement to provide updates.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he was outraged to hear about the gang-related violence, adding he has directed the public safety department to send six more trooper units to Uvalde and for troopers to patrol in gang hot spots.
“Gang violence has no place here in Texas, and we will bring the full force of justice down on these heinous criminals,” he said in a statement on Twitter.