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 Commander Rick Ford.
One victim, who was initially reported to be in critical condition, is now in stable condition, among five others also being treated for injuries, Pittsburgh Police Commander Richard Ford said at a second news conference Friday afternoon.
At least one of the victims was transported to the city’s Children’s Hospital in stable condition, Ford said.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “are on the scene assisting the Pittsburgh Bureau of Investigation with this incident,” Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN.
“We cannot comment further on this matter,” Cucinotta added.
Police were alerted to two ShotSpotter activations shortly after noon on Friday. The first signal indicated five rounds had been fired, and the second signal indicated 15 rounds had been fired, Ford said. Upon arriving at the scene, the officers determined that the gunfire had been heard outside the church. At least some of those shot are believed to have attended the funeral, Ford said.
Ford said during Friday’s second press conference that the incident “appears to be clearly the result of a targeted shooting.”
“We think there are people who will resort to gun violence, and that’s a danger to anyone when that can happen,” Ford said.
Ford also confirmed that multiple suspected shooters were involved in the incident, but offered no additional information on potential suspects. The investigation, including a review of video of the incident, is ongoing, Ford said.
Ford also said that 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 near the shooting have been notified that the area is now safe to release students, Ford said.
The senior pastor of Destiny of Faith Church, the Rev. Brenda Gregg, said in her 30 years of pastoral ministry, Friday’s shooting “is one of the most devastating days of [her] life.”
Gregg added that it was a difficult time “to have a funeral for a young man and to be able to work with his family to wrap up what happened in their lives, that we had people coming to church and shooting guns at people.” .
Despite the shooting, the church will continue its Halloween harvest event to continue to bring the community together, Gregg said.
“Thinking about it, I think we’re stronger together and that we want to continue to have these things that would make sense in the community, which is that we need a place for our kids to come,” Gregg said .
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged the community and the victims’ families are hurting, and Friday’s shooting was something they all never expected to happen.
“I just never could have imagined it. Never that we were going 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 heinous thing today.
Gainey also appealed to 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 healing,” Gainey said.