Fort Worth

Family of victim in mass shooting after Comofest share concerns about security after tragic event

Police say two men fired in a crowd after last year's Comofest, killing three people and injuring eight others shortly before midnight on July 3

NBC Universal, Inc.

The city of Fort Worth is celebrating the Como neighborhood for being named as having the best community revitalization effort in the country by the group Neighborhoods USA.

City leaders also recognized the upcoming Comofest celebration set to take place over the July 4 holiday.

These honors come less than a year after a mass shooting took place near the event site in the hours following Comofest 2023, leaving three people dead and eight others injured.

The family of one of those victims tells NBC 5 they believe this year’s celebration needs to implement changes for people’s safety.

Leaders of the Como neighborhood call the area a special place.

“It’s the people,” said Michael Lockhart with Legacy Lake Como. “By us being one square mile, everybody is close, you know everybody’s family.”

One of those efforts is Comofest, an annual Independence Day celebration that started in 2021.

“The reason Comofest was started was to give the community an alternative to the past events of July 3, the violence and all that stuff,” said Lockhart.

Following Comofest 2023, hundreds of people lingered in the area, including along nearby Horne Street.

Fort Worth police said two men opened fire into the crowd, killing three people and injuring eight others.

22-year-old Cynthia Santos was killed by a stray bullet in the mass shooting.

Friends and family said Santos was enjoying the celebration when a fight broke out, followed by gunshots.

“I remember I lost contact with her while we were running, and when I looked back to find her is when I found her on the floor,” said Gabriel Gonzalez, a friend of Santos. “An image that to this day I can’t forget.”

Santos’s family and friends said they believed changes need to be made to Comofest this year for the community’s safety.

They said the events during the day were family-friendly, and the area felt safe due to police and security.

But after sundown when the festival ends, they said the crowds can spread out into the streets.

“The night thing is not okay, they shouldn’t even be allowed to do that,” said Tania Torres, a cousin of Santos. “It’s out of hand, and it’s not okay.”

NBC 5 took those concerns to Comofest organizers.

They told us that violence has never happened at the event and they believe Comofest is a positive for their community, with security measures in place for their scheduled events.

“We had zero problems in doing Comofest for three years,” Lockhart said. “The violence, the chaos always happens after Comofest is over with.”

This year’s Comofest will take place on July 3. NBC 5 contacted the Fort Worth Police Department to ask if they plan to increase security measures in the area following the festival.

“We are working with the community and stakeholders to help provide a safe environment for everyone that comes to Como for the events,” said a spokesperson for Fort Worth police. “We will increase personnel, but we are definitely not there to over-police the event.”

Contact Us