At least 5 killed, several hurt in shooting near Pittsburgh

PENNSYLVANIA (REUTERS/AFP) - Two gunmen ambushed a backyard party near Pittsburgh on Wednesday (March 9), killing at least five people and injuring several others, the police said.

Four women and one man were shot and killed, and three more were wounded in the attack at a residential neighbourhood in Wilkinsburg, about 13 km east of the city, the Allegheny County Police Department said.

The two suspects fired from an alley onto a backyard party at a home and then fled, the department said in a statement.

"Partygoers appeared to try to run into the residence, at which point a person on the side or backyard adjacent to the residence fired at the back porch," it added.

Dozens of shell casings littered the pavement of an alleyway near the site, where the police were gathering evidence and talking to witnesses, media reported.

"I heard at least 20 shots," witness Kayla Alexandra told WPXI.

"The ballistic evidence on the scene leads police to believe that two different weapons were discharged from two different people," according to a police statement.

No one has been taken into custody and police were urging witnesses to come forward to aid their investigation, which they said was still in its preliminary stage.

Four people were declared dead at the scene of the attack, said Lieutenant Andrew Schurman of the Allegheny County Police Department.

Four more victims were taken to nearby hospitals, but one died from her wounds, leaving two men in critical condition and a woman in stable condition, they added.

The attack in Wilkinsburg, a borough of about 16,000 people, is the latest in a series of mass shootings that have elevated gun control as an issue in the US presidential elections.