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AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar Pittsburgh Police crime scene investigators gather outside the short-term rental property in the back where a shooting occurred at a party at home early Sunday morning, April 17th.

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Shots fired at a home party in Pittsburgh early Sunday left two minors dead and at least eight others injured, police said.

Hundreds of people had gathered at a short-term rental property, in “Most” of them juveniles, Pittsburgh Police Department Chief Scott Schubert told reporters at a news conference at noon.

Immediately after a kind of quarrel took place, around 12:30 they were shot inside and outside. “and potentially back and forth,” said Schubert. Groups found at the scene indicate pistols and a rifle were used, and police believe there were several shots fired, Schubert said.

Two male victims died at the hospital, police said, and eight other people were being treated for gunshot wounds. A police statement initially said nine people had been injured in the shooting, but Schubert reviewed the numbers at a news conference. The names of the two young men who died were not immediately disclosed.

Others were injured trying to escape, Schubert said. Two who were thrown from the windows had broken bones, authorities said. One victim was injured as a car was “shot up”, said Schubert.

George Stevens said he was outside a bar next to the rental property smoking a cigarette when he heard what he thought were fireworks and then saw the children fleeing.

Stevens told the Associated Press he left three girls hiding in his vehicle and calling their parents as bullets flew nearby. He said he saw someone inside the rented property holding a gun as children ran screaming and crying in every direction away from the building.

“It happened so fast,” he said. “It was just crazy,” he said. “Children were running everywhere.”

ShotSpotter showed that more than 90 bullets were fired and Schubert said “We know there was a lot more to it than inside and outside the structure.” Police were processing evidence in up to eight separate crime scenes that included several blocks around the rented house. Arriving officers found one “Very chaotic” scene with injured victims, doctors trying to treat them and people fleeing on foot and in vehicles, he said.

No arrests were reported immediately, but Schubert said “Our top priority is to find out who did it and get them out of the way.” He said he could not comment on a possible motive, but he condemned the number of illegal weapons and the many people with access to them, as well as the powerful mix of alcohol, drugs and weapons.

“It is heartbreaking; “Here we are at Easter and we have many families, two of whom will not see a loved one.” said Schubert. “Others that will happen – how can you have a party when your child got involved in something as traumatic as this?”

Allegheny General Health reported that seven people were treated at Allegheny General Hospital and one at Jefferson Hospital for gunshot wounds or other injuries, but officials declined to provide their condition or other information.

Neighbor Mitchell Wilston, 30, told the AP that he and his wife were not home during the shooting, but before leaving they saw the crowded neighborhood, with cars parked on the wrong side of the road and a row outside. house for rent.

“It was so clear there would be a problem – there were a string of 14-year-olds trying to get into this place.” he said. The house has been rented for bachelor parties or other events before, or for the families of baseball players due to its proximity to the stadium, but there had been no problems, he said.

In the morning, Wilston found his wife’s white blood-stained car, possibly from someone who was running away from the shooting and trying to hide behind the vehicle, he said.

Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit confirmed the house had been rented through the company. He said the booker, who was supposed to be 18 and older under Airbnb rules, has been given a life ban. Breit’s statement says the celebration was organized without the knowledge of the host, whose list banned the festivities and declared a overnight curfew.

Breit said Airbnb was working with authorities: “We share the outrage of the Pittsburgh community about this tragic gun violence. “Our hearts go out to all those affected – including loved ones who lost their lives, injured victims and neighbors.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey condemned the violence, which he attributed in part to the failure to remove guns from the streets and provide adequate resources for communities. He said the city would call a meeting with local leaders to get comments on a new, city-wide approach to public safety.

“Now is the time for us to move with a sense of urgency to bring justice to the victims and peace to our city.” Gainey, who is in solitary confinement due to a recent exposure to COVID-19, said in a statement.

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