Pittsburgh shooting: Multiple shots fired, remains an ‘active scene’ with unknown number of victims, officials say
At least six people were injured after a shooting erupted Friday outside a church in Pittsburgh where a funeral was taking place, police said.
One victim originally reported in critical condition is now in stable condition, among five other people also being treated for injuries, Pittsburgh Police Commander Richard Ford said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
At least one of the victims in stable condition was taken to Children’s Hospital in the city, Ford said.
Two “people of interest” were detained Friday night in connection to the shooting, police said. Authorities did not identify the people in custody nor explain how they are believed to be related to the shooting.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “are on scene assisting the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police with this incident,” Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN, and declined to comment further.
Police were alerted to two ShotSpotter activations shortly after noon Friday. The first alert indicated five rounds shot, and the second alert indicated 15 rounds shot, Ford said. Once at the scene, responding officers determined the gunfire was heard outside the church. It’s believed at least some of the people shot were attending the funeral, Ford said.
The incident “appears to be obviously a result of a targeted shooting,” Ford said.
“We do feel that there are people out there that will resort to violence through guns, and that is a danger to anybody when that might take place,” Ford said.
Ford also confirmed there were multiple alleged shooters involved in the incident, but did not offer any further information on potential suspects. The investigation, including the review of video of the incident, is ongoing, Ford said.
Of the six shooting victims, four took themselves to nearby hospitals and two were taken by medics, Ford said. He declined to release their ages or other identifying information at this time since police are still working to notify families.
All schools in the vicinity of the shooting were notified the area is now safe for dismissal of students, according to Ford.
Destiny of Faith Church’s senior pastor, the Rev. Brenda Gregg, said in her in 30 years of working in pastoral ministry, Friday’s shooting “has been one of the most devastating days of [her] life.”
Gregg added it was a difficult time “doing a funeral for a young man and being able to work with his family to bring closure to what had happened in their lives, that we had people come to church and fire guns after people.”
Despite the shooting, the church will continue its Halloween harvest event to continue to bring the community together, said Gregg.
“As we think about it, I think we’re stronger together, and that we want to continue to have those things that would make sense in the community, and that is we need a place for our children to come,” Gregg said.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged the community and the families of the victims are hurting and Friday’s shooting is something they all never expected to happen.
“Just never could have imagined it. Never, that we would shoot up holy ground,” said Gainey. “We will be working around the clock to do whatever is necessary to apprehend those that did this heinous thing today.”
Gainey also urged the community to come forward with any information which might assist the police investigation and help the community heal from the incident.
“If you work with us, if you talk to us, we will get justice, and we will get healing,” Gainey said.