Police said at least six people were killed and ten injured in a shooting in the Californian capital, Sacramento, on Sunday morning.
A video posted online shows people scurrying in the street and then starting to run as gunshots are heard. AFP could not verify the images.
Police said no arrests had been made and the scene remained “active”.
“It was just horrific,” said community activist Barry Accius, who arrived minutes after the shooting.
“As soon as I walked up, you saw a chaotic scene, police everywhere, victims with blood all over their bodies, people screaming, people crying, people going, ‘Where’s my brother?’ Mothers are crying and trying to identify who their child was,” he told local broadcaster KXTV.
The shooting took place around 2 a.m. downtown, just steps from the state capital and close to where the NBA’s Sacramento Kings play.
The Sacramento Bee newspaper reported that there was broken glass and police investigation markings scattered over two blocks.
The Sacramento City Police Department urged the public to avoid the area, saying in a tweet that a large police presence would remain at the crime scene.
Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester told reporters that officers on patrol in the area rushed to the area after hearing gunshots.
“We had a big crowd in the area. We don’t know if it was part of a club or an event,” she said.
Lester said six people had died and another 10 were taken to hospital with injuries. No one was detained, she said.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said it was difficult to find the right words to describe the tragedy.
“The number of dead and injured is hard to comprehend,” he said.
“We are waiting for more information about exactly what happened in this tragic incident. The increasing gun violence is scourging our city, state and nation, and I support all actions to reduce it.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive website, it is the most recent shooting in the United States involving firearms in about 40,000 deaths each year, including suicides.
Loose gun laws and the right to bear arms have repeatedly thwarted attempts to limit the number of guns in circulation, despite the majority American preference for greater control.
Three quarters of all homicides in the US are committed with firearms, and the number of pistols, revolvers and other firearms sold continues to rise.
According to data from the website Small Arms Analytics, more than 23 million guns were sold in 2020 — a record — on top of 20 million in 2021.
That number does not include “ghost weapons”, which are sold disassembled, have no serial numbers and are highly valued in criminal circles.
In June 2021, 30 percent of American adults said they had at least one gun, according to a Pew survey.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)