Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Authorities in Philadelphia were hunting for at least two shooters Tuesday night after five high school students were shot, including one fatally, following an after school football game in the city's northwest Roxborough neighborhood.
Philadelphia First Deputy Commissioner John Stanford told reporters during a press conference that the shooting happened after a football scrimmage involving three schools at Roxborough High School ended at 4:30 p.m.
After leaving the field, a group of players from Roxborough High School were walking northbound on Pechin Street when they were "ambushed" by at least two shooters who then fled the crime scene on foot, Stanford said.
A 14-year-old boy was pronounced dead at 5:09 p.m., he said, adding three other students were transported to local hospitals while a fifth student was treated at the scene for a graze wound.
Asked how many bullets were fired in the shooting, Stanford said he didn't know but it's "a lot."
What may have caused the shooting was also unknown, he said, adding that their investigation was still early and that they were still trying to pull as much information as possible to learn how the incident unfolded.
The other two schools participating in the scrimmage were Northeast High and Boys Latin Charter School.
Tony Watlington Sr., superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, said they are "heartbroken and angered" by the shooting and that their thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and school communities impacted by "this horrific incident."
"The ongoing gun violence in our city is absolutely unacceptable," Watlington said in a statement. "We remain committed to working with the Philadelphia Police Department and the City of Philadelphia to see how -- together -- we can better address the gun violence that is affecting our students and communities throughout the city."
The shooting comes as authorities and officials try to combat escalating gun violence in the city, which has already seen 372 fatal shooting victims so far this year, according to state data.
Mayor Jim Kenny, who had earlier Tuesday signed an executive order to ban guns from city parks, recreation centers and other public spaces, said that he had "no words" following the shooting.
"Another young life has been cut short and others injured by needless violence. Tonight, a family will begin to grapple with the loss of their loved one," he said in a statement. "This violence must stop and the cowards who use these weapons must be held accountable."
Roxborough High School said the district's emergency and crisis response team as well as social workers and counselors will be on-site as needed to provide students and staff support following the shooting.
Stanford told the media he wants to encourage parents to talk with their children about the effects of gun violence.
"Death is final, and I know a lot of kids see things, they see TV, they hear things, but I don't know how many of them understand that this is final. Death is final. You don't come back from that," he said.
The shooting also occurred as the United States faces a gun violence crisis.
According to The Gun Violence Archive, there have been 502 mass shootings so far this year in the United States.