The group had gathered on the porch of a home in Dyersburg, Tenn., on Thursday to celebrate a 2-year-old's birthday with balloons, a birthday cake, and a highchair. Then shots rang out. Authorities say up to three assailants on foot opened fire on the party around 6:20pm Thursday, killing the mother of the 2-year-old and wounding six others, reports the State Gazette. Shanice Amerson, 21, was pronounced dead at the scene while two victims, including a 6-year-old boy, were airlifted to hospitals in Memphis, per ABC News and WMC. Others were being treated at a hospital in Dyersburg.
Neighbors suggest the shooting may have been gang-related, per Fox 13. Police say they have identified one person of interest, but no arrests have been made. "Innocent kids got hurt for no reason and I am scared to death that they haven't caught anyone," says a neighbor who assisted the victims at the scene, where a large poster of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck was hung. Police say they received a call about people flashing guns from one or two vehicles in the area in the hours before the shooting, but no guns were found during traffic stops.