Two dead, 14 injured in mass shooting at illegal party breaking COVID restrictions

Two dead, 14 injured in mass shooting at illegal party breaking COVID restrictions
By: USA Posted On: September 19, 2020 View: 13

Two dead, 14 injured in mass shooting at illegal party breaking COVID restrictions

At least two people have been killed after a mass shooting at an illegal party in a city in New York state.

Another 14 were wounded at the event in Rochester, in the north of the state, which police said was breaking COVID restrictions.

The attack happened in the 200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue at 12.25am on Saturday.

Rochester Police Department interim police chief Mark Simmons
Image: Rochester Police Department interim police chief Mark Simmons

Interim police chief Mark Simmons told reporters none of the 14 injured suffered life-threatening injuries.

The identities of the two fatalities have not been released but authorities say it is a male and female aged between 18 and 22 years old.

Chief Simmons said about 100 people were at the party when police arrived, and the scene was "chaotic".

Those responsible were still at large, he added.

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The police chief said: "When police arrived... officers observed... people running from the 200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. It was a very chaotic scene. And we could see multiple victims of gunshot wounds.

"The event that was taking place... was some type of backyard party that police, up until the point when the 911 calls came in for the shots fired, were not aware of.

"This is yet another tragedy where individuals are having these illegal, unsanctioned house parties taking place in these properties which... are unsafe because of COVID, and you add in alcohol and violence, it's a recipe for disaster.

"This is truly a tragedy of epic proportions."

Under current New York state restrictions, gatherings of more than 50 people are forbidden.

NBC 10News said Pennsylvania Avenue, Goodman Street, and Short Street are closed to traffic.

Checks of the neighbourhood have taken place, witnesses and victims are being interviewed and an appeal has been made for information about who may have been responsible.

Chief Simmons said it was a very large scene with multiple locations.

A witness told ABC affiliate 13WHAM News the gunfire sounded "like the Vietnam War".

Rochester's police department has been dealing with the aftermath of the suffocation death of Daniel Prude.

Video taken in March and made public by Mr Prude's family on 4 September showed him handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushed his face against the street while another officer pressed a knee to his back.

He died a week later.

On Monday, Rochester mayor Lovely Warren fired the previous police chief La'Ron Singletary, who the mayor said initially misled her about the circumstances of Mr Prude's death.

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