At least nine injured, three seriously, in a shooting in the state of Rhode Island.

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source: abcnews.go.com

Authorities are investigating whether it was a conflict between gangs or between criminal gangs.

Nine people were injured Thursday night in Rhode Island's capital in what police believe is the largest shooting in the city's history.

Of the nine, three suffered severe injuries and "maybe in critical condition," Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh T. Clements told reporters at the scene.

Clements said multiple weapons were used and that it was a "dispute" involving two groups known to authorities. 

He added that the shooting began with car shots targeting a house. One or more people opened fire inside the house. The police officer called the suspects "young men."

The shooting started just before 7 am in a neighborhood in the southeast of the city, which Clements has generally described as a quiet neighborhood.

Dozens of bullets were involved in the incident, officials said. Instead, you may be shown markers of evidence showing that more than a dozen shell poles are scattered on the ground.

Police have not made any arrests so far. Clements stressed that the investigation is still in its infancy. Detectives were interviewing victims at the hospital, aged between 19 and 25. No further details were released about his identity.

Clemente's stated that the police have gone to great lengths to get the guns off the streets and therefore called the shooting "very disappointing." Suspects and victims "could be the same," he said, without providing further details.

There will be names that you can recognize. We certainly know it from the work of the police.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza also spoke at the scene, answering questions from the media.

I spoke to several neighbors, and they are all in shock," he said, adding that he promised additional patrols and neighborhood security for the next few days.

Prior to this shooting, Providence had reported 19 shooting victims and seven shooting homicide victims in 2021, Clements said.

Elorza also urged city residents to stop using firearm violence to resolve disputes and criticized the immediate availability of weapons.

It's over, Elorza said. The young people involved believe that guns are the way to resolve their conflicts. I mean, that can't be.