Seven men and two women, ranging in age from 21 to 42, were struck in the area of Fifth Avenue and East 139th Street just after 12:35 am Monday.
The victims were enjoying a late night gathering when gunfire rang out.
Police initially were told that two groups were shooting at each other at the scene.
WATCH: Where the gunfire erupted and where the victims fled
“We just think it was a gathering, a barbecue, to that nature,” NYPD Deputy Chief Brian McGee said.
Five of the victims were initially found shot on a footpath over the Harlem River Drive. The others arrived at Harlem Hospital.
A 21-year-old man was pronounced dead at Lincoln Hospital.
The other eight victims are believed to have non-life threatening injuries.
One gun was recovered at the scene.
No arrests were immediately made and it was unclear what prompted the shooting.
Police are asking for the public’s help as the investigation into this incident continues.
Call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.
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