At least six people were wounded Friday in a shooting outside a Pittsburgh church where a funeral was being held, police said.
One victim, who was initially reported in critical condition, is now in stable condition, and five others are being treated for injuries, Pittsburgh Police Commander Richard Ford said at a press conference Friday afternoon.
At least one of the victims was taken to Children’s Hospital in the city in stable condition, Ford said.
Two “persons of interest” were arrested in connection with the incident on Friday evening, police said. Authorities did not release the names of the detainees or their involvement in the shooting.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are “at the scene assisting the Pittsburgh Bureau of Investigation with this incident,” Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN, declining to comment further.
On Friday afternoon, police were alerted to two ShotSpotter activations. The first alert indicated five shots had been fired, while the second alert indicated 15 shots, Ford said. Upon arrival at the scene, responding officers found gunshots heard outside the church. At least some of the people shot are believed to have attended the funeral, Ford said.
The incident “appears to be the result of a targeted shooting,” Ford said.
“We think there are people out there who are going to be violent with guns, and when that’s possible, it’s dangerous for anybody,” Ford said.
Ford also confirmed that multiple alleged shooters were involved, but did not provide additional information on potential suspects. The investigation, including a review of video of the incident, is ongoing, Ford said.
Four of the six gunshot victims were taken to nearby hospitals and two were taken by medics, Ford said. He declined to release their ages or other identifying information at this time because police are still working to notify the families.
Ford said all schools near the scene of the shooting have been notified that the area is safe to dismiss students.
Senior Pastor of Faith Church, Rev. Brenda Gregg, a pastor for 30 years, said Friday’s shooting was “one of the most devastating days. [her] live in”.
Gregg added that it was “a difficult time to mourn a young man and work with his family to bring closure to what happened in their lives, when we had people coming into the church and people being shot at.”
Despite the shooting, the church will continue to hold its Halloween harvest event to continue bringing the community together, Gregg said.
“As we think about it, I think we’re stronger together, and we want to have things that make sense in the community, and that means we need a place for our kids,” Gregg said.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged that the community and the families of the victims are hurting and that Friday’s shooting was something they never expected.
“I could never have imagined this. “We will never shoot down a holy place,” Gainey said. “We will be working around the clock today to do whatever is necessary to catch those who committed this heinous act.”
Gainey also encouraged the public to come forward with any information that could assist the police investigation and help the community recover from the incident.
“If you work with us, if you talk to us, we will get justice and we will heal,” Gainey said.