By Seth Daniel
After a flurry of police activity on Sunday night and into Monday morning at the Showcase Cinema parking lot, the investigation into the shots fired call has moved toward street-level detective work to find the culprit responsible for firing a gun and causing massive chaos.
The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Showcase Cinema around 8:40 p.m. on Sunday night, April 16 – between the cinema and the Fiesta Shows carnival that sets up every April.
Police reported being called to the scene for a shots fired call, and after an investigation of about an hour, they discovered that no one was hurt and three cars had been hit with bullets.
However, finding that out was no easy task.
Upon hearing the gunshots, the crowd at the carnival began running to their vehicles and leaving en mass. The streets around the theatre became jammed and many young people ran across Squire Road to the gas station, Stop & Shop and the Squire Lounge to escape the chaos.
Several surrounding agencies responded to assist.
At the same time, there was a report that a suspect may have fled into Showcase Cinema. Heavily armed officers in SWAT gear deployed to the theatre and evacuated everyone from the movie house – all exiting with their hands up for public and officer safety.
Officers were working police details regularly assigned at the Carnival and inside the Showcase Cinema at the time of this incident.
“This is an active and fluid investigation,” said Lt. Amy O’Hara. “There are no suspects in custody and appears there are no victims.”
This week, O’Hara reported that the investigation is ongoing and no new developments had yet occurred.
There are disputed reports as to whether the shooting was related to the carnival or to the movie house – but some on scene indicated that it likely had to do with the carnival.
It wouldn’t be the first time that trouble has emerged from the carnival.
The Revere Carnival by Fiesta Shows comes to town every year from late March through April and sets up in the lot of the Showcase Cinema. Though it is a giant money maker for the benevolent McCarthy Trifone Fund, which donates thousands to help youth sports teams in Revere, it also in recent years has become a magnet for trouble.
Last year, Police arrested three juveniles when a police detail spotted a fight. One person fleeing from police damaged a carnival stand and injured a carnival worker. The youths fled into the Cinema in that case and were found hiding inside. One of them did assault a police officer in the incident.
In 2015, three people were arrested and more than 40 officers from Revere and surrounding cities had to respond to quell a riot that broke out on a Thursday night. As officers were trying to empty out the carnival midway, a fight broke out between two rival youths. As police tried to break up the fight, a large crowd of carnival-goers turned on police and began to fight them. That elicited an all-out call for help from surrounding departments.
In that incident, dozens and dozens of people fleeing police tried to get into the theatre to hide as well.
Many years ago, a Carnival worker was charged by police with improperly touching children on a ride at the carnival.