Three people have been killed and 11 others injured in a mass shooting in Philadelphia late on Saturday after a gunman opened fire into a large crowd.

Police said that multiple gunshots were heard shortly before midnight in the busy downtown area of South Street with reports of “several gunmen” at the scene.

A police officer responded by firing one shot in the direction of a suspected shooter, Philadelphia Police Inspector DF Pace told NBC Philadelphia. One suspect dropped their firearm and fled the scene, authorities said.

Fourteen people were caught in the crossfire. Two men and one woman later died in hospital from gunshot wounds.

Officers weren’t releasing the identities of the deceased or the wounded, but according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the victims who died was a 25-year-old man and another was a 22-year-old woman.

Blood is seen at the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, Sunday, June 5, 2022.

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Officers were still searching for the suspected shooters on Sunday morning after the area between 2nd and 5th streets was placed on lockdown overnight.

Inspector Pace said officers had recovered two guns, one of which had an extended magazine, and “numerous” shell casings at the scene.

”You can imagine there were hundreds of individuals just enjoying South Street, as they do every single weekend, when this shooting broke out,” Inspector Pace told ABC.

South Street is a buzzing area of bars, restaurants and clubs in downtown Philadelphia, and has regular police presence on weekends, particularly during the summer months, authorities said.

The South Street incident was the second shooting to occur in the area on Saturday. Police also responded to a shooting around 11pm a few block away, where 13 bullet casings were found.

Inspector Pace said at a press conference on Sunday that officers were investigating whether the two incidents were connected.

The United States has seen 240 mass shootings so far in 2022, according to the non-profit The Gun Violence Archive, which tracks mass shootings. A mass shooting is defined by the non-profit as an incidents involving four or more people being shot or killed at one time.

This article is being updated

By w3my7

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