Authorities are now looking for three suspects whose getaway car crashed into a commuter train after shooting six people in East St. Louis, Illinois on Thursday.

According to Daily Mail, the train crash has temporarily disrupted services on the track. The MetroLink reportedly stopped operating between the 5th and Missouri and Emerson Park stations. Passengers, who experienced delays up to an hour, used Metro shuttles between stations.

In a statement, the Illinois State Police said the shooting happened in the city's downtown area at around 4 p.m. local time. Six were hit with bullets, and a minor was also injured.

USA Today reported that police spokeswoman Beth Hundsdorfer said the seven victims were hospitalized. But the victims' conditions and identities remain unclear.

Meanwhile, around 10 passengers who were aboard the train sustained injuries during the collision. They were being treated on the scene. 

Police said the three suspects tried to flee the scene in their blue getaway vehicle but were struck by a passing commuter train as they attempted to cross the train tracks. All the suspects then fled on foot. 

On Thursday night, the state police said the "situation is still rapidly evolving," urging the public to avoid the area. Reuters reported that police said three suspects opened fire before trying to drive past a train at a nearby railroad crossing.

According to a KSDK report, SWAT members and police officers had targeted a nearby home after the shooting as law enforcement used a drone, helicopter, and plane in search of the suspects.

East St. Louis Mayor Robert Eastern III confirmed multiple victims were shot but did not release any additional information.

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Mass Shootings in the United States

According to Gun Violence Archive (GVA), more than 600 shootings occurred in 2020 compared to the previous year's 417, The New York Times reported.

In June, two gunmen broke into a home in Chicago and shot eight people. The shooting has killed five people. Police said seven of those shots were struck in the head.

In May, nine people were killed in a shooting in San Jose, California. The gunman, who was identified as a transit worker, also killed himself, according to authorities.

Another gunman has managed to kill six people before shooting himself at a birthday party in Colorado Springs on May 9. Police said the gunman was the boyfriend of one of the female victims.

In 2019, the GVA, a gun violence research group, recorded a total of 15,381 gun deaths, which included homicides, suicides, and accidents. There were also 29,568 gun-related injuries, according to CBS NewsThe GVA has also recorded 382 mass shootings in 2016, 346 in 2017, and 337 in 2018.

Murder Rate in East St. Louis, Illinois

According to a Belleville News-Democrat report, East St. Louis has 96 murders per 100,000, topping cities like Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. However, only 25 percent of the murders are charged in criminal court compared to a national average of 60 percent.

Rachel Davis, executive director of the Prevention Institute, said community trauma could be a factor in community members not working with police to solve open homicide cases.

Davis further noted that conditions like unsafe housing, failing schools, and lack of economic opportunity contribute to the likelihood of violence.

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Written by: Mary Webber

WATCH: Multiple Victims in East St. Louis Shooting; Manhunt for Suspects After Crashing Getaway Car - From KMOV St. Louis