A 15-year-old boy and a man have been shot and killed at a church after a funeral in Florida’s ‘most dangerous’ city.
A second child and a female are in hospital with gunshot injuries following the “senseless” violence in the city of Riviera Beach.
At least 13 shots were fired at the victims as mourners were gathered at the Victory City Church, according to police.
Officers are hunting at least one suspect following the suspected double murder.
A man who knows the 15-year-old wrote on Facebook that the teen died after being shot in the neck.
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“He just died at St.Marys,” the man wrote.
Pastor Tywuante Lupoe wrote on Facebook: “We solicit the prayers of the saints today as we mourn the lost of two young black men to a sensless shooting after a funeral held here at the church.
“Thank you all for the text, calls, and inboxes. My wife and are well.
“Also, the saints are well. Again, let’s pray for the families that lost their loved ones today.”
The city’s police and fire rescue services were called to reports of gunshots and multiple victims just after 2.30pm local time on Saturday.
A spokesperson for the Riviera Beach Police Department said: “On February 1, 2020, at approximately 2.23pm a shooting occurred at 163 W 20th Street in Riviera Beach (Victory City Church) after a funeral that resulted in four shooting victims.
“One 15-year-old juvenile male was shot and died at the scene.
“One adult male was shot and died at the scene.
“One female victim was shot and transported to St Mary’s Medical Center by Riviera Beach Fire Rescue.
“Another juvenile victim was shot and is being treated at a nearby hospital.
“During this incident, ShotSpotter detected 13 rounds.
“So far no arrests have been made.
“This is an investigation.”
Used in a number of US cities, ShotSpotter is a system with sensors that detect gunfire and immediately alert police.
On its website, Victory City Church describes itself as “a Bible Based, Christ Centered, Holy Spirit Led Church of all ages, and nations.
“Our Four Core Values of ministry are Prayer, Worship, Evangelism, and Discipleship.
“At Victory you will experience an atmosphere of love, vibrant anointed worship, sound biblical teaching, and be introduce to various discipleship programs to grow spiritually, emotionally, economically, relationally, and physically to walk in the victorious power of Jesus Christ.”
Home to a about 35,000 people, Riviera Beach is in Palm Beach County on Florida’s Atlantic coast.
The shooting scene is about five miles from US President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
Last year, a study by NeighbourhoodScout ranked Riviera Beach as Florida’s most dangerous city and 30th in the US.
It found that Riviera Beach residents had about a one in 73 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime.
A separate report by 24/7 Wall St also rated Riviera Beach as Florida’s most dangerous city.
It said the city’s violent crime rate was 1,370 incidents per 100,000 people, more than three times the state average of 408 incidents per 100,000 residents.