Halloween Crimes Haunt America This Year, Including A Santa Who Shot 4 At A Party

From a Santa Claus opening fire to teens mobbing a theme park to a serial killer on the loose, it's literally been a scary Halloween this year. 

Each year during the Halloween festivities, hundreds are arrested for drunken behavior, shootings and assaults across the nation. Insurance claims over the holiday increase by 24 percent, according to USA Today, due to theft and vandalism. Cities often see a spike in crime, like the city of Chicago, which reached a yearly high for shooting deaths in one weekend over Halloween weekend last year, when 17 were killed and 41 were wounded in shootings.

Here are a look at other notable Halloween festivities that turned deadly:

  1. 1. Santa Claus Shoots Four People

This year, a Halloween party in Austin, Texas on Saturday turned deadly after a man dressed as Santa Claus opened fire inside his home of partygoers, shooting four people.

Randall Gaston Jones, 32, was described as “highly intoxicated” when he went to his room and returned with a gun, Austin Police Lt. Jason Staniszewski said during a press conference. One victim died from his wounds, two were seriously injured and a fourth refused medical care.

2. Fells Point in Baltimore

For the second year in a row, the now-notorious Fells Point neighborhood in Balitmore, a waterfront bar scene, saw a spike in violence over Halloween weekend last year.  Crime worsened to extremes, according to residents and business owners, who said they fear for their neighbors, customers and staff. This year, bars closed early, fearing a repeat of last year’s terrors.

The Baltimore Sun reported each year the neighborhood draws costume-clad groups for Halloween celebrations, but in recent years the festivities have turned violent. Last year, three people were stabbed and one 22-year-old woman was shot. Police also reported a string of muggings in the area, which fills with hundreds of bar-goers for the holiday.

3. Teens Mob Theme Park In Bay Area

Chaos spread through the Bay Area Halloween festivities this year as a mob of teenagers unleashed thefts and assaults on unknowing visitors. The theme park, California’s Great America Halloween Haunt, draws 20,000 people each year. This years’ event, The Los Angeles Times reports, erupted into fights and injuries. Two individuals were sent to the hospital, others left with bloody noses and bruises. The mob consisted of 15-20 teens. One has been arrested.

Police say the park has been open for 10 years, and this is the first it’s seen anything like the violence of last weekend. The park boasts haunted mazes and multiple “scare zones.”

4. Serial Killer On The Loose In Florida

After police announced they believed three Florida shootings in the span of two weeks were connected by the same individual, a potential serial killer, officers upped security protocols in the area over Halloween hoping to prevent another attack. ABC News reports police will join trick-or-treaters Tuesday night and had more officers out in the Seminole Heights area where the three killings occurred.

Residents were told in the days after the string of shootings not to walk around alone at night. Each of the three victims were alone, found shot near one another over the course of 11 days. So far, there have been no additional shootings tied to the same killer.

 

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