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'Tragedy of Epic Proportions' at Upstate NY House Party

2 dead, 14 injured in early Saturday shooting
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2020 6:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's being called "the largest Rochester shooting in memory." Police in the upstate New York city responded to a 911 call early Saturday after reports of a shooting, and what they found was tragic: two young adults killed and 14 wounded at a backyard house party, per the Democrat & Chronicle. Acting Police Chief Mark Simmons says police found a "very chaotic scene" when they arrived at the Marketview Heights residence, with people scattering and multiple people shot. The two deceased victims haven't yet been identified until next of kin can be notified; WROC puts their ages as being between 18 and 22, per Simmons. "This is truly a tragedy of epic proportions, if you ask me," Simmons said at the scene early Saturday, per the Democrat & Chronicle. "I mean, 16 victims is unheard of."

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Simmons also decried what he says have been "illegal and unsanctioned house parties" under a still-in-effect ban on nighttime public gatherings of more than five people, issued by Mayor Lovely Warren in July. Police are staying mum about a possible motive or weapons used, though officials did say in a statement that "several dozen rounds were fired," per WROC. Simmons adds that it's too soon to determine if the shooting was targeted or random, 13WHAM reports. There were no suspects in custody as of later Saturday morning. The 14 wounded are all said to be in stable condition at area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, per police. (Tensions between the Rochester Police Department and the Black community in Rochester have been running high.)

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