At least six people were injured after a shooting erupted Friday outside a church in Pittsburgh where a funeral was taking place, police said.
One victim was originally reported to be in critical condition now in stable condition, among five other people also being treated for injuries, Pittsburgh Police Commander 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 arrested Friday night in connection with the shooting, police said. Authorities have not identified those arrested or explained how they are believed to be connected to the shooting.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “were on scene assisting the Pittsburgh Police Bureau in this incident,” Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN, and declined further comment.
Police were alerted to two ShotSpotter activations shortly after noon Friday. The first alert indicated five rounds shot, and the second alert indicated 15 rounds shot, said Ford. Once on the scene, responding officers determined that gunfire was heard outside the church. It is believed at least some of the people who were shot attended the funeral, Ford said.
The incident “appears to be clearly the result of a targeted shooting,” Ford said.
“We feel that there are people out there who will commit violence through guns, and it’s dangerous for anyone when that can happen,” Ford said.
Ford also confirmed that there are several alleged shooters involved in the incident, but did not offer any further information about potential suspects. The investigation, including a video review of the incident, is ongoing, Ford said.
Of the six shooting victims, four took themselves to a nearby hospital and two were taken by medics, Ford said. He declined to release his age or other identifying information at this time since police are still working to notify the family.
All schools around the shooting were told that the area is now safe to dismiss students, according to Ford.
The senior pastor of Destiny of Faith Church, Pastor Brenda Gregg, said in her 30 years of working in pastoral ministry, Friday’s shooting “has been one of the most terrible days. [her] life.”
Gregg added that it was a difficult time “doing a funeral for a young man and being able to work with his family to cover up what happened in his life, that we had people come to the church and shoot guns after people.”
Despite the shooting, the church will continue its Halloween harvest event to continue bringing the community together, Gregg said.
“When we think about it, I think we’re stronger together, and that we want to continue to have things that will make sense in the community, and that we need a place for kids to come,” Gregg said.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged that the community and the families of the victims were devastated and Friday’s shooting was something they never expected.
“Just never imagined that. Never, that we would shoot on holy ground,” Gainey said. “We will work around the clock to do whatever it takes to catch the people who did this horrible thing today.”
Gainey also urged the public to come forward with information that could aid the police investigation and help the community heal from the incident.
“If you work with us, if you speak to us, we will get justice, and we will get healing,” Gainey said.