Four people are in police custody after a New Hampshire wedding spiraled out of control Sunday morning, ending with gunshots fired and numerous fights between wedding attendees.
Concord police, state police and four neighboring police departments all responded to the Bektash Temple at 189 Pembroke Rd. in Concord for a report of shots fired shortly before 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
Upon arrival, officers encountered a wedding party of more than 300 people, with numerous fights breaking out.
"Patrons reported that shots were being fired in the rear of the building and parking lot between two rival groups," Concord Police Lt. Sean Ford said in a statement. "Officers initially believed there was an active shooter situation unfolding."
Dozens of people were initially detained while investigators sorted out the matter.
The investigation revealed that a fight had broken out between a group of men from the Columbus, Ohio and Nashville, Tennessee areas and other wedding attendees. Members of the group from Ohio and Tennessee allegedly brandished and discharged firearms in close proximity to numerous people, including children.
"There was some ongoing argument between a group of women over social media related to those groups," Merrimack County State Attorney Jackie Smith said. "The four coming out here to this wedding, they were well aware that there would likely be trouble when they got here."
That group then attempted to flee in a white Chrysler. As the vehicle left the property, police said the driver, later identified as 22-year-old Salim Hussein of Nashville, was allegedly pointing a pistol out the window. Another vehicle entering the lot saw this and crashed into the Chrysler.
The occupants of the Chrysler then fled, and witnesses told police they were firing shots as they ran. Hussein was injured in the collision and police found him hiding in another car in the parking lot.
No one was injured by the gunfire. Investigators remained at the scene until late Sunday afternoon.
"Why anybody would want to spoil somebody's wedding is beyond me," said Guild "Bushie" Hill from Bektash Temple. "This is a shock."
Hussein and Jafar Kahalid Issak, 19, of Columbus, Ohio, were arrested and charged with felony reckless conduct and riot. Both were arraigned Monday afternoon in Merrimack Superior Court. They were held on $10,000.
Ali Dahir Hussein, 20, also of Columbus, and 18-year-old Abdi Osman Mohamed of Erie, Pennsylvania, were also arrested on felony riot charges. They have been released and did not appear in court.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Concord police at 603-225-8600 or the Concord Regional Crimeline at 603-226-3100.