Acting Police Chief Mark Simmons confirmed the shooting took place, but it's unclear who and how many people opened fire on the backyard party. The two individuals who died during the shooting were a man and a woman between the ages of 18 and 22. The 14 wounded are aged between 17 to 23 years old, and they have since been taken to local hospitals with what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries. The names of the victims, both the injured and the deceased, have yet to be released.
"This is truly a tragedy of epic proportions, if you ask me," Simmons said on Saturday. "Sixteen victims is unheard of."
Police first responded to reports of gunshots at approximately 12:25 a.m. local time, and when they arrived, there were around 100 people running down the street. Simmons, who called it a "very chaotic scene," added, "We could see and observe multiple victims of gunshot wounds at that time."
Officials in Rochester were not made aware of the party beforehand, although it's worth pointing out there are strict guidelines in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. "For our community, (which) is right now going through so much, to have to be dealt with this tragedy, needlessly—for people who decide to act in a violent manner—is unfortunate and shameful," Simmons added. "We're going to do everything that we can as a department to bring these people involved to justice."
In a statement sent to CNN local affiliate WHAM, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren asked for the community to share "prayers and support for all involved."