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Check your car for bullet holes: Hamilton police

One gunman in a brazen shootout Sunday fired into the path of passing motorists. Hamilton police are asking people who drove through central Hamilton Sunday to check their car for bullet holes – as they might be unintentionally carrying evidence with them.

Photos show shootout taking place in broad daylight

Hamilton police released this image of the shootout that took place Sunday in Central Hamilton in hopes of tracking down suspects. (Hamilton police)

A man involved in a brazen daytime shootout in central Hamilton Sunday fired across a city sidewalk into the path of passing motorists driving along Main Street.

A dramatic photo released by police Tuesday captures a moment from the shooting and shows a gunman with his weapon out, firing at another man standing on the edge of the roadway as cars pass by just a few feet away. 

Somehow, no one was injured. But police are asking people who drove through the area Sunday to check their car for bullet holes – as they might be unintentionally carrying evidence with them.

The incident capped off a violent week in the area that saw two shootings and a man who was killed near an elementary school. Mayor Fred Eisenberger called the incident "very serious" and is imploring anyone with information to come forward.

Gunfire erupted at Main Street East and East Avenue around 6 p.m. on Sunday, damaging cars in buildings in the area. No one has yet been arrested. Police believe two male shooters were involved.

"The fact that this took place in the daytime is very concerning to us," police spokesperson Const. Steve Welton told CBC news. Officers are still in the area talking to witnesses and searching for security camera video.

Welton would not say where the images came from, but did say they are screen captures from a video. Police aren't releasing the video, he said. The video appears to be shot from the road, and not taken from a security camera.

Gang violence not yet ruled out: police

The incident was the second shooting in the neighbourhood that day. Police also received a report of gunshots near King and Ashley Streets just before 3 a.m. Sunday. When they arrived on scene they found that one bullet had struck a building. No one was injured there, either.

Police and K9 officers combed the scene near bullet damage and casings were found Sunday. (David Ritchie)

Welton said police haven't ruled out if the two incidents or connected, considering their close proximity and time. Investigators also haven't ruled out if they are gang related, he said.

"It isn't being ruled out," he said. "But it's too early to say if they are connected."

Mayor Eisenberger tweeted that he spoke with Police Chief Glenn De Caire about the shooting Tuesday morning and that the guns and gangs unit is "heavily engaged."

Assault victim also died in the area last week

While no one was injured in either of those incidents, an assault victim died in hospital Friday after being found unconscious in the street, just blocks from where the shootings took place.

The victim was 40-year-old William McConville of Hamilton, police say. The incident forced a "hold and secure" at St. Patrick Elementary as the beating again took place in the middle of the day.

Gary Santucci and his wife Barbara Milne live minutes away from where the shootings took place. The two run The Pearl Company — a building that was also shot at back in 2013 while they were home.

Despite the surge in violence last weekend, Santucci was undeterred about the area and its progress. "This is a random thing that has happened," he said. "It's a city, we have problems, and they happen in different parts of the city."

"I'm concerned like all of us, but I'm not terribly worried."

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-546-3818 or submit a tip anonymously online at Crimestoppershamilton.com.

adam.carter@cbc.ca | @AdamCarterCBC

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