A shooting in a popular nightlife district in downtown Austin, Texas, early Saturday left 14 people injured, with two of them in critical condition, police said.
Officers responded to a report of shots fired around 1:25 a.m. in a district known for drawing large crowds to its bars and restaurants.
Joseph Chacon, the interim chief of the Austin Police Department, said at a news briefing Saturday afternoon that the shooting appeared to have started as “some kind of disturbance between two parties.”
He said that there was no information to indicate the victims were intentionally targeted, and that most were “innocent bystanders.”
The police revised the number of victims to 14, from 13. The chief said it was possible there are still others who were hurt who have not sought medical help or reported their injuries to police.
Officials said that they had a description of one gunman but that there might be more.
“I cannot say that there is no further public danger at this point because the suspect is not in custody,” the chief said at an earlier news briefing, adding that the shooting “appears to be isolated to this one area.”
The police said in a statement that the victims had been wounded or injured, but the chief said all of them had been shot. Two victims were in critical condition and 12 were in stable condition, police said.
Chacon said that police officers used first aid gear they carry, such as chest seals and tourniquets, to provide lifesaving help and that responding officers had exhausted all of their supplies at the scene.
He said that the downtown area was filled with people at the time of the shooting and that the neighborhood was drawing pre-pandemic crowd sizes.
Chacon said there was more gun violence in the city in the past few months, a sentiment echoed by Mayor Steve Adler.
“The uptick in gun violence locally is part of a disturbing rise in gun violence across the country as we exit the pandemic,” the mayor said on Twitter. He added, “One thing is clear — greater access to firearms does not equal greater public safety.”