At least six people were wounded in a shooting Friday outside a church where a funeral was being held in Pittsburgh, police said.
One victim, originally reported in critical condition, is now in stable condition, while five others are being treated for injuries, Pittsburgh Police Commander Richard Ford said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
At least one of the victims was taken to the city’s Children’s Hospital in stable condition, Ford said.
Two “persons of interest” were arrested Friday night in connection with the shooting, police said. Authorities did not identify the people in custody or describe how they are believed to be connected to the shooting.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “are on the scene assisting the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police with this incident,” Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN, declining to comment further.
Police were alerted to two ShotSpotter activations later Friday afternoon. The first warning indicated a five-round shot and the second alert indicated a 15-round shot, Ford said. Once on scene, responding officers determined that gunshots had been heard outside the church. Some of those shot are believed to have attended a funeral, Ford said.
Ford said the incident “obviously appears to be the result of a targeted shooting.”
“We think there are people out there who resort to violence with guns, and when that happens it’s a danger to anybody,” Ford said.
Ford confirmed that multiple shooters were involved in the incident, but did not provide any further information about potential suspects. An investigation, including video review of the incident, is ongoing, Ford said.
Of the six shooting victims, four took themselves to nearby hospitals and two were taken by medics, Ford said. They declined to release their ages or other identifying information at this time because police are still working to notify the families.
According to Ford, all schools in the vicinity of the shooting were notified that the area was now safe to dismiss students.
Destiny, Senior Pastor of Faith Church, Rev. Brenda Gregg, in her 30 years working in rural ministry, said Friday’s shooting was “one of the most devastating days. [her] Life.”
“Greg said it’s a difficult time for a young man to have a funeral and to be able to work with his family to bring closure to what happened in his life, when people came to the church and people shot guns.”
Despite the shooting, Gregg said the church will continue its Halloween harvest program to bring the community together.
“As we think about it, I think we’re stronger together and we want to continue things that make sense in the community and we need a place for our kids to come,” Gregg said.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged the community and victims’ families are hurting, and Friday’s shooting was something they all never expected.
“Never could have imagined it. Never, ever, would we shoot the holy land,” Gainey said. “Today we will work around the clock to do whatever is necessary to arrest those who committed this heinous act.”
Gainey urged the community to come forward with any information that could help the police investigation and help the community heal from the incident.
“If you work with us, if you talk to us, we will get justice and we will heal,” Gainey said.