PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Pine Bluff police are currently investigating shootings that occurred Sunday morning that left two people dead and several others injured, as at least a dozen people were shot during two separate incidents.
According to reports, the Pine Bluff Police Department responded to gunfire at Sahara Temple around 1:00 a.m. Upon arrival, a large group of people at a downtown party site were seen running away from the building and into the street.
One victim was killed during the shooting.
Reports confirmed that an officer in Pine Bluff fired his weapon during an incident outside of the building. The officer involved in the shooting is now being investigated by Arkansas State Police.
According to reports, the officer responded to gunshots in the area of 820 South Main Street where he found a man, Keyyontae Vignaude, with a gun leaving Sahara Temple.
Eight people were inside of the location and had already suffered gunshot wounds.
Vignaude was shot by the officer and was transported to the hospital after being wounded, and is in critical condition.
State police are currently investigating the reason why Vignaude was armed and plan to ask what he knows about the shootings that happened before police were able to arrive.
For those closest to the incidents that occurred Sunday morning, this feels senseless and not what this weekend was supposed to turn into.
"It's just ridiculous, like, I don't know what the reason was but there was a lot of people affected. Innocent people that shouldn't be, for whatever reason it was. There's no good reason for it," said Tyre White, who was in attendance at Sahara Temple when shots were fired.
Those with Sahara Temple agree. Jerry Weilacher said they rent the venue on the weekends as a way to bring in extra money, and that this was not a Shriner sponsored event.
"It's just unbelievable. I mean, we can sit here and look at this all day and say, 'Well, it happens in all major cities, it happens here,'" he said. "Well, it doesn't normally happen and it shouldn't be something of common practice or nature."
Weilacher said they'll have to reevaluate some of their safety procedures to make sure this doesn't happen again.
The second of the two incidents happened around 2:15 a.m. as Pine Bluff police were sent to the area of Martha Mitchell Expressway and University to investigate gunshots that were heard in the area.
Officers found that the shooting resulted in four victims, one of whom has died at the intersection of University and Pullen.
According to reports, one of the three surviving victims is in critical condition and an update has yet to be provided about their status.
Authorities discovered and recovered numerous shell casings from an area around a vehicle at the intersection.
Police ask that anyone with information to contact the Detective Division at 870-730-2090 or Arkansas State Police at 870-850-8630.
(Editor's Note: In the original version of this article, Arkansas State Police had identified Duane Everett as the man police found with a gun and shot by a Pine Bluff officer.
However, a day later, state police identified the original report as an "identity mix-up", and Everett was a man at the scene who was injured from gunfire, but instead of having the gun, he helped officers render aid to Vignaude.
The article has been updated to fit this new information.)
The name and status of the officer involved in the incident is currently being withheld.
We will update this article as more information becomes available.