By Richard Weizel
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Reuters) - One man was shot dead and eight other people were injured at an apartment complex in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in the early hours of Thursday morning in what a former mayor described as the worst attack he has ever seen in the city.
Police believe the attack by at least two gunmen in the complex's parking lot may have resulted from a dispute between rival gangs, Police Chief Joseph Gaudett told reporters.
The man who was killed was Savonnie McNeil, 37, of Shelton, a nearby suburb, said Gaudett. Five other men and three women were injured in the attack, most suffering wounds to their arms and legs. They are undergoing surgery in local hospitals, police said. One woman was shot in the stomach, but is expected to survive.
An elderly woman was taking a shower in her nearby apartment when a bullet went through the wall and struck her in buttocks, police said.
"I implore the community to come forward with whatever information you have," Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch told reporters. Finch also urged people to "put your guns down, we must avoid more violence."
Joseph Ganim, a former mayor of Connecticut's largest city who is seeking election to his old office after serving seven years of a nine-year prison sentence for corruption, said he was stunned by the attack.
"This is the worst single shooting I know of in the city’s history," Ganim said.
(Additional reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Scott Malone, Louise Ireland and Lisa Lambert)