The police were still trying to determine who opened fire and why. Simmons said it was too early to tell if more than one person was shooting or what the intended targets were.
“It felt like someone was trying to make war,” Asa Adams neighborhood resident told Spectrum News.
A man and woman, estimated in their late teens or early twenties, were killed, Simmons said. Their names were not immediately released. The 14 gunshot wounds are not believed to have fatal wounds. They were all between 17 and 23 years old, police tweeted on Saturday morning.
The acting chief said no suspects were in custody.
“It truly is a tragedy of epic proportions,” Simmons said at a press conference near the house. “I mean 16 victims are unheard of, and for our community, which is currently going through so much, to have to face this tragedy, needlessly, for people who decide to act in a violent way is unhappy and shameful. ”
The shooting comes as western New York City has been rocked by protests over Prude’s death, sparked when Rochester police officers put a hood over her head to prevent her from spitting, then pushed his face in the sidewalk and held him until he stopped. breathing. Details of Prude’s death only emerged this month, leading to cover-ups and calls for the arrest of the officers involved.
On Monday, the city’s mayor sacked Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, who she said initially misled her about the circumstances of the March death. Other senior police officials have announced they will retire or leave their command posts.
Acting Police Chief Simmons expressed frustration that someone threw a big party late at night amid this uproar, apparently in defiance of the state’s ban on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is yet another tragedy where people are having these illegal and unauthorized parties at these properties, which – in the first place – are not safe because of COVID, because of the conditions,” Simmons said. “And then you add alcohol and violence and it just becomes a recipe for disaster. ”
Officers responding to calls for shooting found “about 100 people” fleeing the scene, Simmons said. Prior to the call, police were unaware of the party and had not received any complaints about the noise, he said.
Pastor Marlowe Washington told WROC-TV: “Whoever was the host of this party must be held accountable for this. ”
The injured were being treated in local hospitals. Two other people were injured while fleeing, the Major Crimes Unit said in a tweet. Despite the lack of arrests, Simmons said there was no reason to believe the neighborhood was unsafe.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren issued a statement calling for “prayers and support for all involved”.
“I urge everyone to remain calm and exercise deep restraint as the RPD investigates what happened here and looks for those responsible,” she said.