LONDON (NYTIMES) – Police in Manchester, England, were investigating a shooting in the Moss Side area of the city that injured at least 10 people early Sunday (Aug 12) as “an attempted murder,” and officers were working on the premise that a shotgun had been used, an official said.
The shooting unfolded in the predawn hours, shortly after revellers attended the first day of an annual Caribbean carnival in the area.
“It is unclear at this stage what the motive, what the reason behind this attack, was,” the chief superintendent of the Greater Manchester Police, Wasim Chaudhry, said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
“However, we’ve got to be clear, it would be obvious to any particular person that discharging a firearm in a large crowd like this is completely reckless.”
In a statement earlier, Chaudhry said the shooting “could have had devastating consequences with families and friends losing loved ones.”
The wounded ranged in age from 12 to their 50s and mostly suffered injuries to their legs, Chaudhry said at the news conference. Some required surgery, he added.
Authorities said that one man was in serious but stable condition, and that nine others, including two children, had pellet-type wounds.
“A large number” of unarmed and armed officers responded at 2.30am to reports of gunfire as crowds milled about after the Manchester carnival, police said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for the Manchester Police, Detective Superintendent Debbie Dooley, said officers were searching the area for clues, interviewing witnesses and reviewing footage from surveillance cameras.
“Those living or visiting the area will understandably be concerned by this incident,” she added, “and we will have extra officers patrolling the area throughout the morning and into the coming days.”
Footage on social media showed panicked crowds after the shooting.
Later Sunday morning, Claremont Road, where the shooting took place, was littered with debris – and what appeared to be nitrous oxide canisters – and remained cordoned off by police.
The shooting comes as officials in Britain have struggled to deal with a rise in crime, including acid and knife attacks. “Guns have no place on our streets,” Chaudhry said.
The two-day Manchester carnival in Alexandra Park is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush generation, a group of people form the Caribbean who arrived in Britain on the Empire Windrush, a passenger liner, after they were encouraged to move to the country to fill a labour shortage.
Bev Craig, a Labour Party councilor for the area, said on Twitter: “Awful news. Thoughts with those injured and the local community today as the police start to piece events together. Moss Side is a vibrant, welcoming area – and so much more than just a headline, let’s hope in the days to come this is remembered.”
In May 2017, Manchester was rocked by a terrorist bombing at Manchester Arena, where Salman Abedi, a British citizen of Libyan descent, detonated explosives packed with nails, bolts and ball bearings at an Ariana Grande concert.