At least six people were wounded Friday in a shooting outside a church in Pittsburgh where a funeral was being held, police said.
One of the victims, who was initially reported in critical condition, is now in stable condition, and five others are also being treated for injuries, Pittsburgh Police Chief 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. Officials have not identified those arrested or explained 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 Police Bureau with this incident,” Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN, declining to comment further.
Shortly after noon on Friday, police were alerted to two ShotSpotter activations. The first alert indicated five rounds, and the second indicated 15 rounds, Ford said. When the officers arrived at the scene, they found that a shot had been heard near the church. At least some of the people shot are believed to have attended a funeral, Ford said.
The incident appears to be “clearly a result of a targeted shooting,” Ford said.
“We feel that there are people out there who are going to take up weapons of violence and that can put everybody at risk,” Ford said.
Ford also confirmed that multiple suspected shooters were involved in the incident, but did not provide any additional information about the possible suspects. The investigation, including reviewing video of the incident, is ongoing, Ford said.
Of the six shooting victims, four 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.
According to Ford, all schools in the vicinity of the shooting have been notified that the area is now safe to dismiss students.
The Rev. Brenda Gregg, senior pastor of Destiny of Faith Church, said in her 30 years in pastoral ministry that Friday’s shooting “was one of the most devastating days. [her] life”.
Gregg added that it was a difficult time “to have a funeral for a young man and to work with my family to come to terms with what happened in their lives, to have people come to church and shoot people with guns.”
Despite the shooting, the church will continue its Halloween harvest event to continue to bring the community together, Gregg said.
“When we think about it, I think we’re stronger together and we want to continue to have those things that make sense in the community, so we need a place for our kids to come,” Gregg said.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged that the community and the victims’ families are hurting, and Friday’s shooting is something they all didn’t expect.
“Just never imagined it. Never for us to shoot on holy ground,” Gainey said. “We will be working around the clock to do whatever it takes to catch those who did this horrible thing today.”
Gainey also urged the community to come forward with any information that could assist 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 get better,” Gainey said.