A mass shooting at a backyard party Friday night in Rochester, New York, left two dead and 14 wounded, police said.
The shooting, one of the worst in the city’s history, occurred during a party with more than 100 attendees, according to interim Rochester Police Department Chief Mark Simmons, CBS affiliate WROC-TV reported. The two unnamed individuals who were killed were a male and female between the ages of 18 and 22.
“This is truly a tragedy of epic proportions if you ask me. I mean, 16 victims is unheard of,” Simmons said Saturday morning, according to ABC affiliate WHAM News.
The 14 people wounded were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries, WHAM reported. They were between the ages of 17 and 23.
Family members around me are crying and consoling each other. It’s really painful to hear….
— Tyler Brown 13 WHAM (@tbrown13WHAM) September 19, 2020
“Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, for 10 minutes maybe,” a witness identified only as Billy told WHAM. “People running from every which way. You don’t know who’s who; everyone’s got a mask on. You don’t know what going on out here.”
The shooting sounded like “an all-out war zone,” Billy added.
Simmons said there haven’t been arrests and asked the public for any tips, CBS affiliate WROC-TV reported. Police are still interviewing witnesses. (RELATED: ‘F–k The Police!’ NY Assistant Principal Placed On Administrative Leave After Screaming About Police At Protest)
“This tragic act of violence has impacted many people’s lives and families,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said in a statement Saturday, WROC reported. “I’m begging everyone to remain calm and exercise deep restraint as RPD investigates what happened here and seeks those responsible.”
The shooting comes after riots and protests occurred in Rochester following recently-released video of the death of Daniel Prude, a black man who died in police custody in March. Warren said Monday that she fired former Rochester police chief Le’Ron Singletary over Prude’s death.
“For our community, who is right now going through so much, to have to be dealt [this] tragedy needlessly because of people who decide to act in a violent manner, is unfortunate, it’s shameful, and we’re going to do everything we can as a department to bring those people involved to justice,” Simmons said, WHAM reported.
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