At least six people were injured after a shooting erupted Friday outside a Pittsburgh church where a funeral was being held, according to Pittsburgh Police Chief Rick Ford.
One victim initially reported in critical condition is now in stable condition, among five others being treated for injuries, Pittsburgh Police Chief Richard Ford said at another news conference Friday afternoon.
At least one of the victims was transported in stable condition to the city’s Children’s Hospital, Ford said.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “are on the scene assisting the Pittsburgh Police Bureau with this incident,” Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN.
“We cannot comment further on this matter,” Cucinotta said.
Police were alerted to two ShotSpotter activations shortly after midday on Friday. The first alert showed five rounds fired, and the second alert showed 15 rounds fired, Ford said. As soon as they were on the scene, the responding officers determined that the gunfire was heard outside the church. It is believed that at least some of the people who were shot were attending the funeral, Ford said.
Ford said during a second news conference on Friday that the incident appeared to be the result of a targeted shooting.
“We think there are people out there who will resort to gun violence, and that’s a risk for anybody when that could happen,” Ford said.
Ford also confirmed that multiple shooters were allegedly involved in the incident, but offered no additional information about potential suspects. The investigation, including a review of video of the incident, is ongoing, Ford said.
Ford also said of the six shooting victims, four transported themselves to nearby hospitals and two were transported by medics. He declined to release their ages or other identifying information at this time because police are still working to notify families.
All schools in the vicinity of the shooting have been notified that the area is now safe to dismiss students, Ford said.
Destiny of Faith Church senior pastor, the Rev. Brenda Gregg, with 30 years of pastoral ministry, said Friday’s shooting was “one of the most devastating days [her] life.”
Gregg said it was a difficult time “to have a funeral for a young man and to be able to work with his family to get over what happened in their lives, to have people come to the church with guns blazing after people.”
Despite the shooting, the church will continue its Halloween harvest event to continue bringing the community together, Gregg said.
“When we think about it, I think we are stronger together, and we want to continue to do the things that make sense in the community, and that is we need a place for our children to come, ” said Gregg.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged that the community and the families of the victims are hurt and did not expect Friday’s shooting to happen.
“It could never have been imagined. Forever, may we take holy ground,” Gainey said. “We will be working around the clock to do everything necessary to catch those who did this terrible thing today.”
Gainey also encouraged the public to come forward with any information that could assist the police investigation and help the public recover from the incident.
“If you work with us, if you talk to us, we will find justice, and we will find healing,” Gainey said.