Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

Eugene Police secure the scene of a shooting outside the WOW Hall in Eugene Friday night.

Six people were shot outside the WOW Hall music venue in Eugene and sent to the hospital Friday night, according to Eugene police and witnesses.

Concertgoer Thomas Hiura, who was there to watch friends perform at Friday’s hip hop show, said he was on the sidewalk and saw a young man shoot a handgun at people gathered near the back door of the venue.

“I was leaning down over my bicycle, to grab my mask, and my attention was drawn by really loud gunfire,” Hiura said. “He shot more than ten rounds, and I thought about charging him.”

Multiple reports of gunshots came in to police at 9:30 p.m., after which police and emergency personnel responded. So far no one has been arrested. Hiura described the scene as a “madhouse” with people shrieking, running away and trying to get out of the building.

“I believe I saw blood on the gravel,” he said, noting he saw the suspect, who he described as a young man, run down a street after shooting.

One person shot remains in critical condition, and was undergoing surgery Friday night, Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner said around midnight. Three of the others’ injuries were described as between “serious and critical” severity, while another’s were minor, according to Eugene-Springfield Fire spokesman Mike Caven.

The crowd was massive when police arrived, Skinner said, adding that the suspect was reportedly wearing a hoodie and seen running westbound on Eighth Avenue.

“It was a tough crowd to manage, it was very chaotic,” he said.

Five ambulances, four fire crews and two fire chief vehicles responded, Caven said. Eugene police and other law enforcement agencies responded, along with Eugene Springfield Fire. The scene was closed the rest of the night while police investigated. EPD is asking anyone with tips or footage of the incident to call them at 541-682-5111.

Friday night’s show featured hip-hop artists Lil Bean, Zay Bang, and others. Hiura, a member of the Eugene hip-hop scene, said it was heartbreaking to have a shooting at the historic venue.

“With everything the performing arts community has had to endure, even before the pandemic, trying to make it as musicians and people who enrich society, it’s really hard for me to see this happen to Eugene hip-hop,” Hiura said.

Louis Krauss covers breaking news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at lkrauss@registerguard.com and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews.

Contact photographer Chris Pietsch at chris.pietsch@registerguard.com, or follow him on Twitter @ChrisPietsch and Instagram @chrispietsch. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Six hospitalized after shooting outside the WOW Hall in Eugene.

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