Thirteen people were shot during a house party in Bridgeport early Sunday morning, police said.
Officers responded to reports of multiple shots fired during a house party in the area of Asylum and Plymouth streets around 1:30 a.m. Upon arrival at 18 Plymouth St., police said they found multiple people suffering from gunshot wounds in their legs and one to the jaw area.
“They were having a house party. It appears that at one point they had come to the police station to attempt to apply for a permit, which was denied," Bridgeport Police Chief Armando J. Perez said.
The victims were rushed to area hospitals. Ten victims were treated at Bridgeport Hospital while three were treated at St. Vincent's Hospital, police said.
Police said 11 victims had non-life threatening injuries to the lower extremities while one man sustained a non-life threatening gunshot to the face. One female is also in critical condition after she was shot in the face.
Eight of the victims have been released from the hospital while four including one in critical condition were left for observation at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Police said they believe there were at least two shooters, who fired through the hedges from a backyard.
“It appears that two perpetrators hid behind bushes on the side of the house and while the party was going on shots were fired," Perez said.
Police said they are still looking for a motive in the shooting.
Investigators said 10 shell casings were located at the scene. After calling in another squad of detectives to help with interviews and statements, police said they were collecting evidence for the rest of night.
"There was so much noise...music and yelling, everybody singing," Hector Torres, who lives next door, said.
Torres said he heard between five to seven shots.
"My granddaughter knocked on the door and she said they're firecrackers but they weren't firecrackers," Torres said. "They were shots."
Following the shooting, police said they will step up patrols in that area.
Perez said the permit was denied because they wanted to sell alcohol and charge for the party. Police added there was believed to be about 100 people in that space.
Even though there was 100 people in that area, police said they received no noise complaints before the shooting. Police were not aware if it was legal to have that many people in that space. Police are looking for any surveillance video.
"It’s a horrendous act that unfortunately impacted many people," Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim said.
Police said most eyewitnesses and victims were cooperating with police. They added it was too early to tell if the shooting was gang-related.
"These parties go out on Facebook a lot and through Instagram, so that's how a lot of people end up at the parties," Bridgeport Police Captain Brian Fitzgerald said. That's how we end up with a lot of conflict."
Ganim asked anyone with any information to contact Bridgeport Police Department at 203-576-TIPS.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the shooting was "more trauma, more tragedy."
"Every day more Americans are injured or killed by a bullet is more graphic evidence-unwelcome and unwanted-of the urgent need for common sense gun violence prevention measures. Congress is complicit in this scourge by its inexcusable inaction. The victims in Bridgeport are among tens of thousands of shooting casualties every year. No one is immune to this public health crisis as it rips apart communities near and far," Blumenthal said in a statement on Sunday.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said the news of shooting in Bridgeport was "infuriating."
"I'm simply unable to contemplate the evil behind such contempt for human life. I'm overwhelmingly grateful that surprisingly no lives were lost. I thank Bridgeport's first responders and emergency services for their outstanding professionalism and effectiveness in times of crisis. I stand with the people of Bridgeport and local law enforcement as they investigate this attempted mass murder and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
The mayor, police and Blumenthal held a press conference on Sunday afternoon.
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