According to law enforcement officials, one man began shooting at a large backyard party in Rochester, upstate New York this morning, according to preliminary reports, killing two people and wounding 14 people between 17 and 20 years old.
Acting Police Chief Mark Simmons said the shooting resulted in about 100 people fleeing in an unknown direction.
Now the police are trying to determine who and exactly how many people opened fire. The motives behind the shooting are still unknown, Simmons said.
The shooting prompted Mayor Lovely Warren to visit the area today and call the townspeople for calm.
Warren said she spoke to the host of the party, who said that she first “invited a couple of friends, who also invited a couple of friends who also invited a couple of friends.”
The two dead were roughly 18 to 22 years old, Simmons said.
According to police, 14 wounded, aged 17 to 23, were taken to two hospitals with minor injuries. Police reacted to the shots around 12:25 pm and found dozens running out of the same spot, Simmons said.
The party took place despite restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, the city has banned gatherings of more than five people from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am since July in order to curb what the mayor says is rising violence.
The police did not know about the party in advance and did not receive any signals or calls for riot, Simmons said.
Warren asked the city to “stay calm and let these people (the police) do what they need to do to bring them to justice” those involved in Saturday’s shooting.
She also asked “everyone to observe (23:00) curfew and not hold mass gatherings.”