Mormon Lake AZ July 24 2011 Three people are dead and one critically injured after a shooting late Friday at a motorcycle rally in Mormon Lake in northern Arizona, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
The shooting occurred around 11:20 p.m. Friday on campgrounds near the lake, where victims were believed to have been participating in an annual motorcycle rally called “Too Broke For Sturgis,” said Coconino County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Gerry Blair. Two adult men and one adult woman were killed, and another adult woman was critically injured, he said.
Detectives are looking into the possibility of a murder-suicide, Blair said. When deputies arrived on scene, they found three of the victims in front of a camp trailer, while a deceased male was located away from the group with a single gunshot wound and a handgun on the ground close to his hand, he said.
The second dead man had multiple gun shot wounds, Blair said. The two females were both seated in camp chairs in front of the trailer: One was pronounced dead at the scene and the other, who had been shot six times, was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center in critical condition, he said.
Two other females in the area also were taken to Flagstaff Medical Center for possible shock, Blair said.
“It was very chaotic,” said Ken Daniels, 48, who was about 200 feet away from the campsite when the shootings occurred. Daniels said he heard about five to seven rounds go off in the evening amidst live music, hundreds of tents, and what he described as a generally convivial atmosphere.
“Initially, I thought someone was just shooting into the air, being stupid,” he said. About five to 15 minutes later, after seeing flashing lights and realizing people had been shot, Daniels rushed to scene and found a man lying on the ground without pulse or breath.
Daniels, who works as a registered nurse at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, deemed the man couldn’t be saved and moved on to the other three victims. He began administering CPR to one woman who was barely breathing and had no pulse. She later was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.
By then, security guards at the event were barricading the area while several people were trying to break in, some appearing to be “emotionally breaking down,” according to Daniels.
“They really couldn’t help it,” he said.
Daniels said the property owners decided to close the event, and people were streaming out of the campgrounds early Saturday morning.
It was the first time Daniels had attended “Too Broke For Sturgis” but he said he had been to several other motorcycle rallies in the past.”
This is an extremely rare situation,” Daniels said. “It was probably something personal and it could have happened anywhere.”
The investigation is ongoing.