Five men were shot and killed and a sixth was critically wounded Saturday while they played cards in a basement social club in the city's Chinatown neighborhood, and officials said the slayings might be gang-related.
"It's a real ugly scene down there," Mayor Raymond L. Flynn said. "It looks like a war scene."
Flynn and police officials said the shootings might be gang-linked, but robbery and other motives were not being ruled out.
The victims were Asian men ranging in age from 20 to 50, police Supt. Joseph Saia said. The names of the victims were not immediately released.
"Our intelligence has led us to believe that since the late '80s there has been no leading gang in Chinatown," Saia said. He said many gangs have been vying for power.
Dist. Atty. Newman Flanagan said: "At the present time, there's no evidence that there is a gang involved."
Police were searching for more than one suspect, Saia said.
On last Tuesday, a block from the club, a 30-year-old Chinatown man was shot to death in the foyer of his apartment building, but police said they had no evidence that the two incidents were related.
George Joe, director of the Chinatown Business Assn. and executive director of the Chinatown Neighborhood Council, said there has been a "turf battle" between groups in the area.