A mass shooting in Rochester, New York, left two people dead and at least 14 others injured on Friday night, according to a report by ABC News. The Rochester Police Department told reporters that the attack took place at a backyard party at around 12:25 a.m. ET. Several dozen rounds were fired in total.
Rochester's interim Police Chief Mark Simmons called the shooting "truly a tragedy of epic proportions" at a press conference early on Saturday morning. For this city on the southern edge of Lake Ontario, "Sixteen victims is unheard of." The two murder victims have not been identified yet, but one is reportedly a female between 18 and 22, while the other is a male in the same age range. So far, the police have not identified a suspect, and it appears that they do not have anyone in custody.
The wounded were taken to two separate hospitals in the area. All 14 injured people reportedly suffered from non-life-threatening injuries. Police said that about 100 people were scrambling around the scene when they arrived, at least two injured. It is not clear if they are counted in the 14 hospitalized.
Police have reportedly been conducting interviews with witnesses and partygoers, piecing together an idea of the crime scene. They still have not released an explanation as to how and why the shooting began. They also have yet to release the names and identities of any victims, though they have published the address of the crime scene.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren appeared on local news station WHAM on Saturday morning, asking for the community's cooperation and calm. "This tragic act of violence has impacted many people's lives and families," Warren said. "I'm begging everyone to remain calm and exercise deep restraint as RPD investigates what happened here and seeks those responsible."
The shooting comes amid nightly protests against police violence within Rochester, ever since video footage of police killing 41-year-old Daniel Prude was released. Police reportedly restrained him with a spit bag on his head, even after becoming unconscious. He died in custody from "complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint."
Rochester is the third most populous city in New York, behind Buffalo and New York City itself. It is located in the north-western portion of the state on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The community is grieving all of its recent losses on social media this weekend.