At least two people have died and 14 others were wounded during an overnight shooting at a back yard party in New York’s Rochester city, according to police.
The deaths included a male and a female, both between the ages of 18 and 22, local police chief Mark Simmons told reporters on Saturday.
The 14 wounded people were taken to two different hospitals, police said, with none of them believed to have life-threatening injuries.
“This is truly a tragedy of epic proportions,” Simmons said near the crime scene which appeared to stretch at least a block.
Officers responded to calls of shots fired and found “approximately 100 people” running from the scene, Simmons said. Before the call, police were not aware of the party, he said.
“This is yet another tragedy where individuals are having these illegal, unsanctioned house parties taking place in these properties, which, number one, is not safe because of COVID, because of the conditions. And then you add in alcohol and violence and it just becomes a recipe for disaster,” Simmons said.
The police officer said no suspects were in custody, adding that it was too early to tell whether there were multiple shooters.
The shooting came as the city’s police department faces public anger over the suffocation death of Daniel Prude.
Video taken in March and made public by Prude’s family on September 4 shows Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as a police officer pushes his face against the street while another presses a knee to his back.
The officers held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He was taken off life support a week later.
On Monday, Mayor Lovely Warren fired police chief La’Ron Singletary, who she said initially misled her about the circumstances of Prude’s death.
The fatal early Saturday shooting did not appear to be linked to Prude’s death, officials said.