Police say one person was killed and 10 others were wounded in the hail of bullets.
“It’s a shame that today we can’t go out and have a good time, celebrate and, you know, come home alive without being hurt,” said East Cleveland resident Anthony McKenzie.
Investigators say it was just before 3 a.m. when a gunman or gunmen opened fire outside the Just Us Lounge and Deli on Euclid Avenue.
Among those attending the party outside the bar were Shaw alum celebrating their annual Labor Day Weekend reunion.
Authorities have not released the names of the victims.
“It’s tragic because people came here with good intentions, having a good time and loving life and someone lost their life. People got hurt. It just shouldn’t happen,” said East Cleveland resident Dawn Jones.
East Cleveland detectives and agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are now trying to identify the suspect or suspects and the motive for causing so much harm.
“Someone in their right mind wouldn’t spray the crowd with bullets and want to hurt someone. I mean, why would you want to hurt someone at a celebration?” said Dawn Jones.
Longtime alumni at Shaw High school are heart broken by the tragic events of early Monday morning. Many of them have attended the reunion for years and say there was never even the hint of trouble.
Organizers say the reunion weekend is not just about catching up with old friends, it’s about raising funds to help current Shaw students realize their potential.
“Over those years, we’ve had seminars where we train the students so they have better outcomes when they’re finished at Shaw. We’ve given over $100,000 of scholarships, we’ve helped send the band to China, we help athletics,” said Mark Parks, Shaw Class of 1979.
Organizers say there were three sanctioned events for the reunion over the weekend, but the party outside the lounge that ended so tragically was just one of many unofficial events.
“First and foremost, our prayers and thoughts go out to the families who were negatively affected by that. We don’t want this to have any impact on the Shaw High reunion, because we want to continue to make those dollars, help those students go to school and help them have better outcomes so they don’t have to see things like what happened [Monday morning].”
Investigators are urging anyone with information about the mass shooting to contact the East Cleveland Detective Bureau at 216-681-2162 or the Crime Stoppers Tipline at 216-252-7463.