Authorities said they received "zero cooperation" from the witnesses on Saturday in the immediate aftermath of an early morning shootout near a bar on Niagara Street.
Niagara Falls Police Department Capt. Kelly Rizzo said three people were wounded by gunshots at the corner of Fourth and Niagara streets at about 2 a.m. Saturday.
Two male victims were hit in the legs and a female victim was struck in the stomach, Rizzo said. None of the injuries were life threatening, but the female victim underwent surgery. The men were expected to be released late Saturday, he said. Information on their identities was limited and Rizzo only described them as in their "mid-20's."
All of the wounded individuals were transported to local treatment facilities, including Erie County and Niagara Falls Memorial medical centers, according to police.
Due to lack of cooperation from witnesses, Rizzo said police were still piecing together what transpired just outside Players Sports Bar. Preliminary investigation, including a review of surveillance footage, indicates that one of the male victims, and another shooter who fled, drew handguns and fired at each other.
"It appears as though they were in the street shooting, using parked cars for cover," Rizzo said.
Rizzo said police have confirmed the identity of one shooter and believe one of the victims was "returning fire."
The male victims in the case have also refused to cooperate with police, the captain said. The female was not yet interviewed as of late Saturday afternoon. Officials are not commenting regarding a possible motive while the investigation continues.
Mayor Paul Dyster, who fielded questions about the incident earlier Saturday, encouraged individuals with information about the shooting to call the main desk at the Niagara Falls Police Department at (716) 286-471, or the anonymous tip line at (716) 286-4591.
Dyster said a large number of people were outside the bar when the incident took place and there is reason to believe at least one victim ran inside the bar after the gunshots were fired.
Mark O'Farrell, a co-owner of Players, said there were no disturbances at the bar Friday night before the incident took place and that the bar seldom has problems with patrons. O'Farrell said the incident occurred outside the establishment and that no damage was done to the premises. Surveillance footage from the bar was provided to police, he said.
"The police were there for about an hour looking at our cameras," he said.
The bar remained open Saturday, but O'Farrell said he planned to close early.