Nick Abbot 12am - 1am
Two dead and 14 wounded in Rochester mass shooting
19 September 2020, 08:47 | Updated: 19 September 2020, 11:48
Two people have been killed, with another 14 wounded, in a mass shooting in Rochester in New York state.
The incident began just before 12:30 a.m. on Saturday when police were called to a shooting near Goodman Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, where hundreds of people were gathering outside, local media reported.
Interim Police Chief Mark Simmon told BNO: “It appears to be some type of backyard party that the police department, up until the point the 9-1-1 calls came in for the shots fired, was not aware of."
He also told reporters a man and woman aged between 18 and 22 died during the incident.
Geoffrey Rogers, freelance journalist at the scene in Rochester, New York, told LBC: "The police have said 16 people were shot, two have been killed. The youngest victim is around 18 years old.
"There is a possible weapon with police, but no one is in custody yet.
"There was a large gathering, it was a memorial service for someone else who was shot in Rochester recently."
Major Crimes is on the scene of a mass shooting on Pennsylvania Ave. @ there are fatalities. There will be a press briefing @ Goodman & Short St. in about 30 minutes.— RPD Major Crimes Unit (@RPD_MCU) September 19, 2020
Speaking near the crime scene, which appeared to span at least a block, Simmons said: "This is truly a tragedy of epic proportions."
He added: "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."
The 14 people who were injured have been taken to two separate hospitals. None are believed to have life-threatening injuries.
Rochester mayor Lovely Warren issued a statement asking for "prayers and support for all involved".
She said: "I'm begging everyone to remain calm and exercise deep restraint as RPD investigates what happened here and seeks those responsible."