At least nine people were injured when gunfire erupted Saturday night at an outdoor party in Syracuse, including a 17-year-old boy who was left in critical condition after he was shot in the head, according to reports.
The victims were rushed to Upstate Medical University after the shootings near Fayette and Wyoming streets, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said. according to The Post-Standard.
A witness said the bullets started flying during the annual outdoor gathering called “Rye Day,” which was scheduled to end at 9 p.m., the news outlet reported.
Several hundred people crowded into a square near the WCNY building to enjoy the festivities, which included music and food.
Shortly before 9 p.m., at least a dozen shots rang out, scattering the revelers, a witness told the newspaper, adding that a man sitting on his knees was holding his chest with his hands.
I said, ‘Come on, man, we gotta go! Shooting! ‘”The witness said. “He said, ‘I requested, man, I got shot.’ So he just sat there waiting for help.”
He added: “When I took off, at least 10 cop cars were flying, flying, flying.”
One person was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle collided with a police car, according to the police chief, who said no one was arrested by about 11 p.m.
The victims range in age from 17 to 53, including several who were shot in the leg and a man who was shot in the neck. The 53-year-old is a woman who was shot in the back and midsection, the outlet reported.
Buckner told reporters that the incident was first called in as a stolen vehicle complaint, WSYR-TV reported.
“I believe we have two or three different scenes, so I don’t know which location contributed to what the victim was,” he said, CNN reported.
Mayor Ben Walsh said he was unaware of any city approvals issued for the gathering.
“We issue issue approvals for a gathering of this size. So, we’re going to have to look into how it came to be, ”he added, according to CNN.
Rye Day is the brainchild of Ryedell Davis, who has had boisterous birthday parties for 14 years near Martin Luther King Boulevard and South State Street, his mother Annetta Peterson told The Post-Standard.
But this year, city housing officials told her she managed to organize the party’s duty to traffic concerns so the event was moved to a square on the Near West Side, she added.
Peterson said the event was always peaceful until this year.
“It had been a birthday party for my son every year, and this never happened,” she said. “This never, ever happened.”