A private party held in a Rochester, New York neighborhood erupted in gunfire early Saturday (Sept. 19) morning, CNN reports. Two people, aged 18 and 22, reportedly died and at least 14 others, between the ages of 17 and 23 years old, were injured.
Rochester Police responded to calls of gunshots around 12:25 a.m. Acting Police Chief Mark Simmons described it as a “very chaotic scene.” Simmons approximates over 100 people attended the party and dozens of partygoers were seen running down the street when authorities arrived at the scene.
The party host told Mayor Lovely Warren that she “invited a couple friends over, who invited a couple friends over who invited a couple friends over.” Warren paid a visit to the neighborhood, asking for “calm and peace.”
“A number of our young people — babies — that came to just hang out a little while…left running for their lives. And that’s just something that we cannot have happen,” she said.
Law enforcement officials were not aware of the party, according to Simmons. They also did not receive any disturbance calls.
In July, Rochester banned gatherings of more than five people from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. as a response to the coronavirus and to check the rise in violence occurring in the city during the pandemic.
At this time, the Rochester Police Department is also dealing with the high profile case of Daniel Prude, who lost his life at the hands of a cop in March. The footage of the killing was just released to the public causing the firing of the police chief.
“This is truly a tragedy of epic proportions, if you ask me,” Simmons said on Saturday. “Sixteen victims is unheard of.”
Mayor Warren is asking for the community to share continued “prayers and support for all involved.”