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Girl, 4 others shot during the memorial service, expected to live

SYRACUSE, NY – Police searched Friday for suspects, who witnesses said opened fire on dozens of people gathered for a memorial service outside of Syracuse house, injuring an 8-year-old girl and four other people.

All five victims were in stable condition in the northern part of the State University Hospital and were expected to survive after being shot about 9 a.m. Thursday, said Syracuse police chief Frank Fowler. The victims range in age from 8 to 35.

Witnesses told The Post-Standard that she saw two to three possible shooters, and heard at least 10 photos. The police have not yet confirmed the number of shooters or revealed a possible motive.

Neighbors told the police about 50 people had gathered outside a house to commemorate a man who recently died of cancer. Tammy Jamison said that she and the others ran to the house for cover when the gunfire broke out.

“When the shooting started, I thought,” she told the newspaper. “What would you do?”

The police remained at the scene collecting evidence during the night, finally leaving the area around 8 a.m.

No arrests were reported.

Fowler urged anyone with information about the shooters to contact the police.

“We’re going to cast a wide net to all the information we can,” he said.

Neighbors said the shooting took place outside the house of a family who lost a 20-month-old child to gun violence in November 2010.

The police said Rashaad Walker Jr. was in a car seat in a van parked in a different part of the city when he was hit by gunfire intended for his father, a well-known member of the gang. A member of a rival gang was later convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

The police confirmed that the man being mourned at the memorial meeting in connection with the Walker family.

“At this moment we do not have a motive for the shooting, so we can’t say for sure if the incidents are related,” said Syracuse police spokesman Sgt. Richard Helterline.

A large sign with the toddler’s picture is placed outside the home where Thursday’s shooting happened. Candles are placed in the front of the board were lit as the police combed the street spent shell casings and other evidence.

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Information from: The Post-Standard, http://www.syracuse.com

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