DETROIT — Two people died and eight were wounded on Wednesday evening when gunfire erupted outside a barbershop on Detroit’s east side, police said.
Police said they were searching for two suspects who were believed to have fled the scene in two vehicles after the shooting, which occurred at about 6:15 p.m.
It involved the occupants of three cars, two of them Chevrolet Impalas, that pulled into an alley near the back of the barbershop, the Detroit Free Press newspaper reported, citing police sources. Police were looking for at least two shooters.
All of the victims were male, and at least one man was listed in critical condition on Wednesday night, the newspaper said.
The wounded were taken to several hospitals in the area. Authorities, who initially said that three people had been killed in the incident, did not immediately release information on their condition.
John Zakar, 26, said he was working at the Riviera Party Shoppe when he heard about 20 shots ring out about a block away and three wounded people ran into his store and hid.
“I locked the door behind them and applied pressure to the wounds,” Zakar told Reuters in a telephone interview.
A woman who declined to give her name told the Free Press that she believed one of the men who was slain was her 40-year-old son.
“I heard he’s dead … they won’t let me up there,” the woman told the newspaper.
Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy in July, is experiencing its highest murder rate in decades. The city faces a declining population and fiscal problems that have strained city services and lengthened police response times.
Police did not immediately offer a motive for the shooting.
Detroit police Chief James Craig said the barbershop had a reputation for gambling, but it was too early to tell whether that played a role in the crime.