No one is in custody and a manhunt is ongoing after gunfire rang out at a housing complex in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Wednesday morning. A second housing complex nearby was evacuated amid the search while area schools took precautionary measures.
Plymouth's police chief had said one person was in custody but later, at a Wednesday afternoon news conference, said that person was let go amid a massive search that involved SWAT officers and federal police.
No one was hurt in the incident at the Algonquin Terrace housing complex, initially reported in 911 calls to police as an active shooting, and there is not believed to be a danger to the public, Chief Michael Botieri said.
The situation was "complex" because it involved several locations, including a Walgreens where a handgun was found, he said.
Police believe the incident stemmed from a confrontation between two groups of as many as eight people, but don't know what happened. Three of the people have been identified by police, Botieri said, including the one who was taken into custody and released.
"It appears that there were two groups of individuals, and we do not have any idea of what the motive is," Botieri said.
Officers at the scene saw people running away from the complex, including two who ran into a condo at another complex on Marc Drive. That complex was eventually searched and no one was found.
The person who had been taken into custody was a 35-year-old man from Plymouth, Botieri had told NBC10 Boston, but he was let go after being questioned. It was clear he was present at the shooting but he was not behind it.
Aerial footage from NBC10 Boston's Sky Ranger helicopter showed four people being taken into custody at the nearby Summer Hill condominium complex. Botieri said they were released, and that police had simply been caution amid the developing situation.
At least eight Plymouth schools were put in a protective "safe mode," including Plymouth North, Plymouth Intermediate School, Plymouth Community Intermediate School, Plymouth Early Childhood Center, Hedge Elementary, Cold Spring Elementary, Nathanial Morton Elementary School and West Elementary School.
Residents at Summer Hill condominiums said they were told by police going door-to-door to evacuate around 10 a.m. They weren't sure when they would be allowed to return to their homes.
"We were in our apartment and they had us come out with our hands up," said a woman who lives in the complex. "So we knew something was up."
The Boston office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said special agents from its Bridgewater Field Office were on scene assisting police.