A backyard shooting killed two people and injured 14 others in Rochester, New York, which in recent weeks has been gripped by rage over the asphyxiation of Daniel Broad.
Acting Police Chief Mark Simmons told reporters that up to 100 people were in the gathering when the shooting started shortly before 12:30 a.m.
The police were still trying to collect who shot and why. Simmons said it was too early to say if more than one person was shooting or who the intended targets were.
Simons said that a man and a woman were killed in his late teens or early twenties. Their names were not immediately revealed. The 14 wounded were not believed to have sustained serious injuries.
The acting president said that no suspects had been arrested.
“It is truly a tragedy of epic proportions,” Simmons said at a press conference held near the house. “I mean 16 victims no one has ever heard of, and for our community, which is now going through a lot, this tragedy needs to be dealt with unnecessarily, because people who decided to act in a violent manner is unfortunate and shameful, and we will do everything we can as a management to bring these people involved to justice. “.
The shooting comes as the city in western New York shook days of protests over Broad’s death, which caused Rochester police officers to put a hood over his head to prevent him from spitting, then push his face into the sidewalk and hold him until he stopped breathing.
On Monday, the city’s mayor fired Chief of Police Laron Singletary, who she said had initially misled her about the circumstances of the March death, and other senior police officials announced that they would retire or leave senior leadership positions.
Acting Chief of Police, Simmons, expressed his frustration early Saturday that someone threw a large party late at night amid the turmoil, apparently in defiance of the state’s ban on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Simmons said: “This is another tragedy where individuals have illegal and unauthorized house parties in these properties, which – first – are not safe because of COVID, due to the circumstances.” “And then you add alcohol and violence and it just becomes a recipe for disaster.”
Simmons said that officers who heeded the shooting calls found “about 100 people” running from the scene. Before the call, the police were not aware of the party and had not received any complaints about the noise, he said.
The wounded are being treated in local hospitals. The Major Crimes Unit said in a tweet on Twitter that two other people were injured while fleeing. Although there have been no arrests, Simmons said there is no reason to believe the neighborhood is unsafe.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren issued a statement calling for “prayer and support for all concerned.”
“I beg everyone to remain calm and to exercise deep restraint while the Refugee Protection Police investigate what happened here and are looking for those responsible,” she said.