By Steve Gorman
(Reuters) – Police in High Point, North Carolina, searched for clues and suspects on Wednesday in a spate of shootings that have left two people dead and seven others wounded over two days, including a Christmas Eve drive-by attack outside a strip mall.
Tuesday afternoon’s burst of gunfire from a passing car on a group of about a dozen people gathered in a parking lot outside the shopping strip sent six men to the hospital, three of them initially listed in critical condition, police said.
By Wednesday, all six victims were listed in stable condition, but investigators had yet to identify any suspects or the vehicle involved, High Point Police Department Captain Chris Weisner told Reuters.
Even the gender of the two individuals in the car – a driver and passenger – remained uncertain, he said.
In addition, Weisner said, investigators were looking into the possibility that Wednesday’s drive-by attack was connected to a separate shooting the night before in which one of two victims, a man aged 27, died the next day.
“There’s no known connection, but they’re looking to see if there is a link” between the two shootings, the police captain said, adding that no arrests had been made in either incident.
A third shooting that killed an 18-year-old victim early on Christmas Eve is believed to be an isolated incident, according to Weisner. He said “some arrests” were made in that investigation on Wednesday but declined to give further details.
Weisner acknowledged that the flurry of gun violence was unusual in such “a short time frame” for High Point, a municipality of about 112,000 people that lies between Winston-Salem and Greensboro in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina.
High Point, long known as a manufacturing hub in the state’s once-vibrant furniture industry, has been hit hard economically over the past two decades by competition from abroad and from elsewhere in the United States.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Culver City, Calif.; Editing by Sandra Maler)