Five people were injured in a late Friday night mass shooting in Seattle.
The violence unfolded shortly before 9pm during a community event in the Rainier Beach neighbourhood, Seattle Police Department Chief Adrian Diaz said during a press conference. The event, which takes place every Friday night, was part of the Seattle Community Safety Initiative.
Organizers provide food and other services for young people who attend, according to The Seattle Times.
Four men and one woman, all of them in their 20s, were wounded. Authorities said it is unclear at this time whether the shooting was targeted.
“We know that there’s dozens and dozens of rounds that were fired,” Mr Diaz said. “We have five victims. Two are in critical condition. Three appear to be stable.”
At least two suspects are being searched in connection with the shooting, police said. The department has asked attendees of the event and members of the public to come forwards with any information they may have.
“Honestly, this is really disturbing when you have victims that were really just trying to do an outreach effort, trying to help people … get people on the right path,” Mr Diaz said. “And this is what they end up getting hit with.”
The chief of police said this year the department has recovered the highest number of guns in more than a decade.
“The gun violence issues that we have in our city, we’ve seen it rise and sometimes slow down at times, but right now we’ve really got to get guns off our streets,” he said.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, who was at the scene, decried the gun violence epidemic, noting that there were “too many guns in the wrong hands.”
He also commended SPD officers for their swift response.
“These community leaders are putting literally their lives on the line to protect their own community,” Mr Harrell said. “These fine officers work with these fine community leaders, trying to protect their babies here, trying to protect our youth.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to reach out to the SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line at (206) 233-5000.