updated 6/9/2011 10:30:29 PM ET 2011-06-10T02:30:29

One person was fatally shot and four people were wounded, one critically, on a boardwalk at a New York City beach that was crowded with people seeking relief from Thursday's blast of hot weather, police said.

The shootings by two gunmen happened during an altercation late Thursday afternoon on the Brighton Beach boardwalk, said police spokesman Paul Browne.

Browne did not know if the wounded — all in their 20s — were intended targets or bystanders. He said police are questioning some people, but declined to say whether they were potential suspects.

The woman who died was not identified. She died at Coney Island Hospital, where another male victim is in critical condition. The other three were taken to Lutheran Hospital, said Browne.

No arrests have been made. The shooting is under investigation.

Pat Singer, the founder of the Brighton Neighborhood Association, said the hot weather brought hordes of young people to the beach Thursday. "It's massive chaos," she said.

Saya Suzuki, 30, was just about to sit down inside a boardwalk restaurant with her 6-year-old daughter, Sonya, when the shooting began just outside. Suzuki told The New York Times she heard about six shots, then grabbed her daughter and saw two teenagers run by her.

"I just picked up my daughter and got away from the bullets," she said. "It happened so quickly and I had to protect my daughter."

The neighborhood that borders Coney Island is home to a large Russian emigre population.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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