SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Nine people were shot at a Saturday night “celebration” in central New York, authorities said.
Of the nine victims, one was a 17-year-old boy in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head and eight others — ranging in age from 18 to 53 — were expected to survive, a release from Syracuse police said.
No one was immediately taken into custody, and Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner emphasized that the investigation was in its early stages in an appearance at a press conference alongside Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh.
Syracuse officers had arrived at the scene just before 9 p.m. for reports of a stolen car, but responding officers were met with by people who said shots had been fired into the crowd of a “few hundred,” Buckner said. The police chief said his officers didn’t hear the gunshots.
The event was “some kind of celebration” that was centralized in a parking lot near downtown Syracuse, Buckner said, adding that there were multiple locations in the area where shots were possibly fired. No city permits were granted for the event, Walsh said he believed.
“We wouldn’t issue approvals for a gathering of this size,” the mayor said.
No additional information on the nature of the celebration was immediately available.
The scene was safe with no lingering threat to the public, Buckner said. Agencies from around the region had helped respond to the scene, Walsh said.
A “self-transport” to the hospital was involved in a vehicular accident with a police officer near the scene, the police chief said.
No information regarding the ages and identities of the victims was immediately released. It was too early to tell whether the victims were connected, Buckner said.
“Our city is a very resilient city. We’ve taken a lot of licks over our history, and this will certainly be one we remember, but we’re trying to figure out who’s responsible for this so that we can hold those individuals accountable,” the police chief said.
Answering a reporter’s question at the press conference, Walsh said fireworks — at least two of which went off in the distance, visible over the police chief and mayor’s shoulders — and gun crime were “plaguing” cities across the U.S.
“This is our city, and we’re going to do everything we can to protect it,” the mayor said.