SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A man and woman were shot and killed in a public park in Salisbury Friday afternoon.
According to officials, the incident happened in the 700 block of East Monroe Street at Towne Creek Park.
Salisbury Police officers responded to the call just after 4:15 p.m.
Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes said that people were having a picnic under a gazebo in the park. What happened next isn't clear yet, but police were called to a report of shots fired.
"They were grilling out and eating, don't know exactly what transpired," Stokes said.
When officers arrived they found a man and woman lying on the ground.
"Both of them were deceased when officers arrived," Stokes said. "Both appeared to have died from gunshot wounds."
Rowan EMS was also called to respond to the scene.
There's no word on what happened in the shooting or information on arrests. An investigation is underway.
The SBI is assisting in the investigation.
Chief Stokes said that witnesses described seeing three men leave the scene in a black car. Stokes said that officers are following up on leads.
"Another unfortunate example of gun violence in Salisbury," Stokes added. "I as the chief am extremely concerned about it, our community needs to be worried about. We really need to find some sort of resolution for this violence we are seeing in Salisbury."
Dionne Kennedy lives right across the street from the park. She said she heard the shots being fired Friday afternoon.
"All of a sudden you know I hear this loud pow, pow, pow, pow, pow and immediately I tell my granddaughter to hit the floor – get down on the floor," said Kennedy.
She said her fiance, Harold Heilign, went outside to see what had happened. He told WBTV he saw the people who had been shot.
"I saw the police show up and I saw two people down on the ground. The police start giving CPR," recalled Heilign.
Neighbors in the area told WBTV that the park isn't known to be a violent place.
"It is out of character as far as this type of violence occurring in this park," said Salisbury resident Quentin Woodward Jr.