Two people died and 14 others were wounded in a shootout in Rochester, New York, early on Saturday (19), police said.
The shooting occurred at a party held in the backyard of a house. The party brought together about 100 people. According to Rochester’s interim police chief, Mark Simmons, they ran from the shots in a “very chaotic scene”.
Two young men, a man and a woman, died. The injured were admitted to two hospitals and are not at risk of life.
Simmons said it was not clear whether the shooting was an act of targeted or random violence.
The shooting was on Pennsylvania Avenue, in a residence located in the Marketview Heights neighborhood.
The police were informed of the party after reporting the 911 emergency number about the shooting. “This is yet another tragedy in which individuals are holding illegal parties,” said Simmons, referring to the Covid-19 pandemic. “When you add alcohol and violence, it becomes a recipe for disaster,” he lamented.
Police have not yet identified those responsible for the shooting.
“This is a tragedy of epic and unprecedented proportions, and we will do everything we can to bring those involved to justice,” said Simmons.
Black victim of police violence
The shooting comes amid tensions between the Rochester police and the city’s black community after the Sept. 2 release of images showing Daniel Prude’s suffocation while being restrained by the police. Prude suffered from mental health problems and was unarmed. Since then, Rochester has been the scene of daily protests.
Simmons took over as acting chief of police this week after Mayor Lovely Warren fired Chief La’Ron Singletary for hiding images of Prude’s suffocation – the case occurred in March. Several other police officers are leaving their posts because of the consequences of the Prude case.