On Friday, gunfire erupted outside a Pittsburgh church where a funeral was taking place, injuring at least six people, according to authorities.
At a press conference on Friday, Pittsburgh Police Commander Richard Ford announced that one of the six victims injured in the attack was upgraded from critical to stable condition.
Ford stated that one of the victims was sent to a local hospital where they are currently listed as stable.
The police said that they had apprehended two “persons of interest” on Friday night in connection with the incident. Authorities have not disclosed the identities of the detained individuals or provided any details regarding their suspected connections to the shooting.
Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN that ATF agents “are on the site aiding the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police with this situation,” but he would not elaborate.
Two ShotSpotter alarms went off shortly before noon on a Friday, triggering police response. Ford reported that the first alarm indicated five shots were fired, and the second alarm showed fifteen rounds were fired. Officers who responded to the sound of gunfire outside the church located the source of the sound. According to Ford, it appears that some of the victims were mourners at the funeral.
Ford concluded that the shooting “appears to be definitely the consequence of a targeted shooting.”
We believe there are those who will resort to violence with firearms, and it poses a threat to everyone, Ford added.
Ford further verified that numerous shooters were involved, but provided no other details on possible perpetrators. Ford has stated that an inquiry into the event, including a review of any available video, is still ongoing.
Ford stated that four of the six people who were shot voluntarily went to local hospitals, while the other two were transported by emergency personnel. Since authorities are still trying to contact their families, he would not give any information about their ages or identities.
Ford claims that all nearby schools have been advised that it is now safe to dismiss kids.
Government officials appeal to the public for support.
The Rev. Brenda Gregg, senior pastor at Destiny of Faith Church, described Friday’s shooting as “one of the most tragic days of [her] life.” Gregg has been a pastor for 30 years.
According to Gregg, “having a funeral for a young man and being able to work with his family to provide closure to what had occurred to their lives, that we had individuals come to church and fire guns after people,” was a trying experience.
Gregg assured the community that the church would hold its Halloween harvest program as planned.
We need a place for our children to come,” Gregg said. “As we think about it, I think we’re stronger together, and that we want to continue to have those things that would make sense in the community.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said the city is in mourning and that the massacre on Friday was a tragedy no one saw coming.
I simply never would have thought it possible. Gainey categorically denied the possibility that they would fire against sacred ground. We will do all it takes, at any hour of the day or night, to find and bring to justice those responsible for today’s horrific attack.
In addition, Gainey asked anyone with information that could aid the police investigation or the community move on from the tragedy to come forward.
We will get justice and we will get healing if you cooperate with us and talk to us,” Gainey added.