At least six people were injured after a shooting broke out Friday outside a Pittsburgh church where a funeral was taking place, police said.
One victim originally reported in critical condition is now in stable condition, among five other people 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 Children’s Hospital in the city in stable condition, Ford said.
Two “persons of interest” were detained Friday night in connection with the shooting, police said. Authorities have not identified the people in custody nor explained how they are believed to be connected to the shooting.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “are on scene to assist the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police with this incident,” Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN, declining to comment further.
Police were notified of two ShotSpotter activations shortly after noon on Friday. The first alert fired five rounds, and the second alert fired 15 rounds, Ford said. Once on scene, responding officers determined that gunfire had been heard outside the church. At least some of the people who were shot are believed to have attended the funeral, Ford said.
The incident “appears to be the result of a targeted shooting,” Ford said.
“We do feel that there are people out there who will resort to violence by means of weapons, and that’s a danger to anyone when that can happen,” Ford said.
Ford also confirmed that there were several suspected shooters involved in the incident, but did not provide any further information about potential suspects. The investigation, including reviewing video 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. He declined to release their ages or other identifying information at this time as police are still in the process of notifying families.
All schools in the vicinity of the shooting have been notified the area is now safe for dismissal of students, according to Ford.
Destiny of Faith Church’s senior pastor, Fr. Brenda Gregg, said in her 30 years of work in pastoral ministry, Friday’s shooting was one of the most devastating days of [her] life.”
Gregg added that it was a difficult time “to do a funeral for a young man and to be able to work with his family to bring closure to what happened in their lives, that we had people come to church and firing guns after people.”
Despite the shooting, the church will continue with its Halloween harvest event to continue to bring the community together, Gregg said.
“When we think about it, I think we are stronger together, and that we want to continue to have those things that will make sense in the community, and that is we need a place for our children to come,” Gregg said.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged that the community and the families of the victims are hurting and that Friday’s shooting is something they did not all expect to happen.
“Just never imagined it. Never, that we would shoot up sacred 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 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 healing,” Gainey said.