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Two men shot and injured outside Ontario church dance [Updated]

November 28, 2009 | 10:58 am

Two men attending a dance at an Ontario church were shot after a fight broke out late Friday, police said.

Officers with the Ontario Police Department responded about 11:47 p.m. to a report of a shooting in the parking lot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints along the 500 block of West Francis Street, said Cpl. Bill Russell. Two men, ages 19 and 18, were found with gunshot wounds and were taken to hospitals for treatment, Russell said. Police did not know their condition.

Russell said the men were attending a dance at the church when a fight broke out and an unknown number of suspects opened fired outside. Police did not know whether the two men were targeted or were hit randomly. No one has been arrested and the motive for the shooting is under investigation, Russell said.

[Updated 2:17 p.m.: Keith Atkinson, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said one of the men was struck in the stomach and back, the second was hit in the arm. Both are expected to survive. The two were attending a dinner and dance put together by a Tongan congregation.

Church officials said they were baffled and concerned about the shooting because they did not know whether the victims were targeted. "Nobody seems to know why it occurred or what exactly provoked it, " Atkinson said, adding that a police investigation would help church members know what actions they will need to take in the future to ensure the safety of their members.

"We are certainly concerned about that," Atkinson said.]

— Ruben Vives