Eight people were shot near Perkins Square Baptist Church Sunday evening in Baltimore, Maryland, as at least one gunman opened fire at a cookout. Officers were called to the scene at 5:03 p.m.
Police said there were two cookouts on two sides of the streets, but were not sure if they were related.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison spoke briefly while on the scene, saying the gunman approached two cookouts at the corner of Edmondson and Whitmore avenues and began firing indiscriminately into the crowd, striking several men and women. Police have shell casings in two separate areas, which he said would indicate people fired from two separate locations.
Based on the evidence, they believe a second shooter may have been involved.
Harrison added there also was evidence to suggest someone may have shot back, but officers were still piecing together the events.
“At this time suspect information and motive is unknown to investigators,” police said in a release Sunday night.
Police identified the shooter only as a black man, who reportedly fled the scene in a car.
While the shooting was near two churches — Perkins Square and Doswell Cathedral on Doswell Avenue — Harrison said the shooting did not have any connection to planned events at the two locations.
At the crime scene, bullet casings were scattered on the ground near grills and tables with items left over from the afternoon cookout. People could be seen dressed up and on their way to nearby Doswell Cathedral.
Harrison said the shooting was “very cowardly” and said it “appears to be extremely targeted.”
“We will not stop until we find who did this so that we can hold them accountable,” Harrison said.