At least five people were killed and two minors were wounded by gunfire when a man wearing body armor opened fire in a Philadelphia neighborhood Monday, police said.
The injured, described as boys ages 2 and 13, were stable at a hospital, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw said at a news conference. They were both shot in the leg, police said.
Two other people had injuries from glass, police said.
Mayor Jim Kenney said he was frustrated that mass shootings continue to happen.
"This country needs to re-examine its conscience and find out how to get guns out of dangerous people's hands," he said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. "A person walking down a city street with an AR-style rifle and shooting randomly at people while wearing a bulletproof vest with multiple magazines is disgraceful but all too common situation in America."
All of those who were killed were male. Police identified them Tuesday as Lashyd Merritt, 20; Dymir Stanton, 29; Ralph Moralis, 59; Daujan Brown, 15; and Joseph Wamah Jr., 31. They had all been shot multiple times.
The suspect, a 40-year-old man, had a semi-automatic rifle, a handgun, a ballistic vest and a police scanner. He also had multiple magazines of ammunition, Outlaw said. She described the rifle as being in the style of the AR-15, a weapon initially developed for military use.
He was arrested Monday night, police said Tuesday. He has not been formally charged.
Another man was also taken into custody after authorities said he may have picked up a firearm and returned fire. He was released without charges after authorities found no basis that he discharged a firearm illegally, District Attorney Larry Krasner said at the news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Ernest Ransom said it appears the man acted in self-defense.
Ransom said the suspect shot "aimlessly at occupied vehicles and individuals on the street as they walked."
One vehicle that was shot at belonged to a woman who was driving her twin children home, he said. One twin, a 2-year-old boy, was shot in the leg, and the other had injuries to the eye from shattered glass, police said.
A 33-year-old woman was also injured by shattered glass.
A motive was under investigation.
Officers responding to the attack at 8:29 p.m. heard shots and gave chase, and the suspect continued firing, Outlaw said.
"He was actively shooting a firearm at the time," she said.
He finally stopped when he was cornered in an alley, and he surrendered without incident, Outlaw said. She commended the first officers at the scene.
"I can't even describe the level of bravery and courage that was shown," she said.
Police found about 50 spent shell casings, Outlaw said. Multiple vehicles had been struck by gunfire.
Police believe that all of those shot were either on the street or in vehicles when they were struck, Outlaw said.
“At this point, we don’t see a connection to any of the victims and the shooter,” she said. She said police were investigating what happened and why.
Police had initially said eight people were struck but later revised the number to six. A seventh person was later found to have been fatally shot.
NBC Philadelphia reported that the attack took place in multiple locations. Outlaw said the area covered two blocks by four blocks.
Outlaw described gunfire at multiple locations. Officers were first flagged down in the area of 56th and Chester streets, and there had been calls about gunfire, as well, she said.
Officers arrived and found people shot. As they were preparing them for transportation to the hospital, she said, more shots rang out from up the street, at 56th Street and Kingsessing Avenue.
After police went there, more shooting occurred on nearby Frazier Street, Outlaw said. The foot chase was on Frazier, and it ended in an alley there, Outlaw said.
“The way it was described to me was that once he was cornered in the alley, the officers gave him commands to show his hands, and they were able to get him into custody without further incident,” she said.
Police later said a fifth person, a 31-year-old man, had been found dead, according to NBC Philadelphia.
The man had been shot multiple times and was found dead by his father inside a home, police said, according to station.
Outlaw said detectives were working to "do everything that we can to figure out the 'why' behind this act."
Kenney, the mayor, tweeted that he was horrified by the reports of the shooting.
"My heart is with the loved ones and families of everyone involved, and I send my prayers to the victims," he said.