A shooting outside a restaurant in downtown Buffalo early on Saturday left four people dead and four wounded, police said.

The victims were leaving a large party inside the City Grill bar and restaurant about 2:30 a.m. when gunfire erupted, police and witnesses said. Police were investigating witness reports that an argument may have broken out inside.

“We’re trying to sort all of that out,” Homicide Chief Dennis Richards said. “We’re checking to see if something precipitated this from inside.”

Three victims were pronounced dead at the scene in the city’s business district and a fourth died at a Buffalo hospital. The dead were two men and two women, Richards said. Their identities were not released.

The conditions of the wounded, all men, were not immediately available.

Tommy Dates, 35, of Buffalo, said he was at the bar area of the restaurant with his friends when he noticed a party had broken up. He said people started leaving the restaurant but rushed back inside a few minutes later.

“A lot of people were real upset, just trying to get out of the way,” Dates said. “Nobody know where anything was coming from. Everyone was in a panic.”

Three covered bodies lay in front of the restaurant for several hours, one of them on the sidewalk across the street. About 20 people stood behind yellow crime scene tape, some trying to console grief-stricken relatives and friends.

The window of an office next to the Main Street restaurant was shattered, as was glass in a subway entrance across the street.

Keywords: Buffaloshootinghomicide

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