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July 27, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Two injured in early Saturday shooting under Fremont Street Experience, police report

Image

Bill Hughes

This March 2013 file photo shows the Fremont Street Experience near The D casino.

9 p.m., Fremont Street Experience

Bill Hughes documents a wet night on the Fremont Street Experience full of rock and straight-faced art. Launch slideshow »

Shot fired, two hurt

As expected on a First Friday night, the hordes descended upon eastern Fremont Street. With an added police presence though, little trouble beyond a few skirmishes occurred in the burgeoning Fremont East Entertainment District, sources said.

The same was not true, however, farther west in the Fremont Street Experience, where an electric canopy covers four blocks of Fremont, outside downtown Las Vegas’ more well-known establishments such as the Golden Nugget, Horseshoe and Four Queens.

Just before 2 a.m. Saturday, in the 300 block of Fremont Street — roughly in front of The D — a fight broke out, a Metro Police spokeswoman said. The situation became more dangerous, though, when someone pulled a gun and fired. From initial reports, it was unclear if more than one shot was fired. But a bullet hit the hand of someone involved in the fight, and an innocent bystander was struck in the arm.

Both of the injured people were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, the spokeswoman said.

Though no arrests have yet been made, Metro has its Gang Crimes Bureau investigating.

The shooting comes as downtown Las Vegas grows in popularity, especially the more locals-oriented section in the Fremont East Entertainment District.

The First Friday arts walk/street fair doesn’t take place on Fremont Street — it is several blocks to the southwest — but many of the thousands who attend the event end up in the growing number of bars and clubs in Fremont East.

During May’s First Friday, the city closed a small section of Fremont East, which tavern owners said resulted in a potentially dangerous situation because it created a street-party atmosphere; people with 12-packs and other drinks not purchased nearby were setting up on the street.

In addition, the city has an open-container law that can be enforced at an officer’s discretion. Tavern owners in Fremont East said they did not think the law was being enforced.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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  1. Wow, I went to First Friday since I had never been before (discovered it's just a hippie fest) then went to Fremont Street. I was actually on the D balcony overlooking Fremeont Street with my wife until about midnight. Everybody around was having fun, no sign of the coming violence. I guess we left just in time. Won't stop us from returning though, we love Fremont Street.

  2. of course the bars didn't think the open container law wasn't enforced.