At least six people were injured after Friday’s shooting outside a church in Pittsburgh, where a funeral was being held, police said.
One victim who was initially reported to be in critical condition is now in stable condition, and five others are also being treated for their injuries, Pittsburgh Police Commander Richard Ford said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
At least one victim in stable condition was taken to the city’s Children’s Hospital, Ford said.
Two “persons of interest” were detained in connection with the shooting Friday night, police said. Authorities have not identified the detainees or explained how they are believed to be related to the shooting.
Agent Robert Cuccinotta told CNN that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “are at the scene assisting the Pittsburgh Police Department with this incident” and declined to comment further.
Police were alerted to two ShotSpotter activations shortly after noon on Friday. Ford said the first alert showed five bullets and the second alert showed 15. Upon arriving at the scene, responders determined that gunfire was heard outside the church. At least some of the people who were shot are believed to be attending funerals, Ford said.
Ford said the incident was “apparently the result of targeted shooting.”
“We do feel that some people will resort to violence through guns, which is dangerous for anyone,” Ford said.
Ford also confirmed that multiple suspected gunmen were involved in the incident, but did not provide any further information about potential suspects. Ford said an investigation, including a review of video of the incident, is ongoing.
Of the six shooting victims, four were taken to a nearby hospital and two were taken away by paramedics, Ford said. He declined to reveal their age or other identifying information as police are still working to notify the family.
All schools in the vicinity of the shooting were notified and the district can now safely expel students, according to Ford.
Rev. Brenda Gregg, senior pastor of Destiny of Faith Church, said in her 30 years of pastoral ministry that Friday’s shooting “was one of the most devastating days in the church. one. [her] Life. ”
Greg added, “Having a funeral for a young man and being able to work with his family to end what’s going on in their life, we’re having people come to church and shoot people after it’s a tough time.”
Despite the shooting, Greg said the church will continue its Halloween harvest to continue to bring the community together.
“When we think about that, I think we’re stronger together and we want to continue to have those things that are meaningful to the community, and that’s where we need a place for our kids to come,” Greg said.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged that the community and the victims’ families were hurting and that Friday’s shooting was something they never expected.
“It’s just unimaginable. Never, ever, we’d shoot in a holy place,” Gainey said. “We will do whatever is necessary around the clock to arrest those who did this heinous thing today.”
Gainey also urged the community to provide any information that might aid police investigations and help the community recover from the incident.
“If you work with us, if you talk to us, we’ll get justice, we’ll be healed,” Gainey said.