At least six people were injured after a shooting broke out Friday outside a Pittsburgh church where a funeral was being held, police said.
One victim who was listed in critical condition is now in stable condition, among five other people who are also being treated for injuries, Pittsburgh Police Chief Richard Ford said at a press conference Friday afternoon.
At least one of the victims was taken to Children’s Hospital in stable condition, Ford said.
“Two persons of interest” were arrested Friday night in connection with the shooting, police said. Authorities did not identify the people in custody or explain how they are believed to be connected to the shooting.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “are available to assist the Pittsburgh Police Department with this incident,” Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN, declining to comment further.
Police were alerted to two ShotSpotter operations shortly after noon on Friday. The first alert shows five gunshots, and the second alert shows 15 shots, Ford said. Once on the scene, responding officers noticed gunshots coming from outside the church. At least some of the people shot are believed to have attended the funeral, Ford said.
The incident “clearly appears to be the result of a targeted shooting,” Ford said.
“We feel that there are people who are going to turn to gun violence, and that’s a danger to anybody when that happens,” Ford said.
Ford also confirmed that there are multiple alleged shooters involved in the incident, but did not provide additional information about potential suspects. The investigation, including video review of the incident, is ongoing, Ford said.
Of the six shooting victims, four were taken to nearby hospitals and two were taken by paramedics, Ford said. He declined to give their ages or other identifying information at this time as police are working to notify the families.
All schools near the shooting were notified that the area has been cleared for student dismissal, according to Ford.
The senior pastor of Destiny of Faith Church, Rev. Brenda Gregg, said that in her 30 years of working in the ministry, Friday’s shooting “was one of the saddest days. [her] life.”
Gregg added that it was a difficult time “to have a funeral for a young man and to be able to work with his family to bring closure to what happened in their lives, to have people coming to church and shooting after people.”
Despite the shooting, the church will continue its Halloween harvest festival to continue bringing the community together, Gregg said.
“When we think about this issue, I think that we are strong together, and that we want to continue to have things that will make sense in the community, that is, we need a place where our children can come,” said Gregg.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged that the community and the families of the victims are hurting and that Friday’s shooting was something that everyone did not expect to happen.
“I would never have thought of it. Never, that we would shoot a holy place,” said Gainey. “We will work around the clock to do whatever it takes to catch those who did this terrible thing today.”
Gainey also asked the public to come forward with information that can help the police in the investigation and help the public recover from the incident.
“If you work with us, if you talk to us, we will find justice, and we will find healing,” Gainey said.