From all appearances, the 45th Annual Noel Night in Midtown Detroit on Saturday had all the markings of a great success: Big crowds, smiling faces, music, holiday joy, mild weather.
Then gunshots wounded four teens. People ran in panic. Parts of the event shut before the 10 p.m. cutoff.
Now the sponsor, Midtown Detroit, Inc., will consider changes when its board meets in January, says executive director Susan Mosey. Leaders will determine if they should continue putting on the event or move to "a different kind of event."
The nonprofit group supports community projects designed to boost eceonomic growth.
"It's just really unfortunate," Mosey says of the shootings.
She says the about two years ago people started noticing parents dropping off teens in mass numbers, unsupervised. Skirmishes and misbehavior occurred, the civic booster adds.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig says Monday that a curfew might be appropriate for the event, according to The Detroit News.
Craig links the shooting to a high school football rivalry that flared the previous weekend at a Ford Field championship. At Noel Night, the two groups met up and there was some "pushing and shoving" before the gunfire, which wounded 14- and 16-year-old boys, a 17-year-old girl, and a 19-year-old man.
When he arrived, "hundreds of teens" were in the area without adult supervision, the chief says.
"It's time to start that conversation," he says, according James David Dickson of The News. “Had there been a curfew, would this have happened? Probably not."