Girl, 4 others shot during memorial service expected to live
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Police searched Friday for suspects who witnesses said opened fire on dozens of people gathered for a memorial service outside a Syracuse home, wounding an 8-year-old girl and four other people.
All five victims were in stable condition at Upstate University Hospital and were expected to survive after being shot about 9 p.m. Thursday, Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said. The victims range in age from 8 to 35.
Witnesses told The Post-Standard that they saw two to three possible shooters and heard at least 10 shots. Police haven’t confirmed the number of shooters or revealed a possible motive.
Neighbors told police that about 50 people had gathered outside a house to commemorate a man who recently died of cancer. Tammy Jamison said she and the others ran into the home for cover when the gunfire erupted.
“When the shooting started, I ducked,” she told the newspaper. “What would you do?”
Police remained at the scene gathering evidence overnight, finally leaving the area around 8 p.m.
No arrests have been reported.
Fowler urged anyone with information on the shooters to contact police.
“We’re going to cast a wide net to get any information we can,” he said.
Neighbors said the shooting took place outside the home of a family who lost a 20-month-old child to gun violence in November 2010.
Police said Rashaad Walker Jr. was sitting in a car seat in a minivan parked in another part of the city when he was hit by gunfire intended for his father, a reputed gang member. A member of a rival gang was later convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Police confirmed that the man being mourned during the memorial service was related to the Walker family.
“At this time, we do not have a motive for the shooting, so we can’t say for sure if the incidents are related,” Syracuse police spokesman Sgt. Richard Helterline said.
A large sign with the toddler’s photo is posted outside the home where Thursday’s shooting happened. Candles placed in front of the sign were lit as police combed the street for spent shell casings and other evidence.
Police said they were also investigating the wounding of a 14-year-old girl hit by gunfire about an hour after the earlier shooting.
Helterline said officers responding to a report of gunfire four blocks from the memorial service shooting found a teenage girl suffering from a gunshot wound to her lower back. She was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover, he said.
Police said they didn’t know if the two shootings were related.
Information from: The Post-Standard, http://www.syracuse.com