A rolling shootout littered several blocks between Jackson and Summer with shell casings Tuesday and puzzled investigators, who spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out exactly what happened and why.
A brown Pontiac Bonneville that was involved in the shootings slammed into a Chevy pickup and a Nissan minivan at Summer and Hudson amid the gunfire, injuring a woman and a baby in the minivan and forcing officers to close Summer Avenue for hours.
One man was injured by gunfire.
"I heard some shooting -- pow-pow-pow-pow!" said Daniel Hill, 28, who owns the Just Connections cell phone store at 3211 Summer.
Then he heard the impact of the cars colliding. "Boom! Boom! Boom!"
Hill looked outside and saw people running. "Everybody scattered like roaches," he said.
Police believe some of the people in the Pontiac jumped into a nearby Mercedes, which was found later in the 2500 block of Lyndale.
"It's a strange thing to say, but had this crash not occurred, we'd have had several more scenes to handle," said police spokeswoman Monique Martin as she stood in the blazing heat, the tangled heaps of three vehicles behind her.
A gun lay under the pickup and a clip of ammunition rested near the gutter on the north side of Summer as officers picked through the accident scene, marking the places where shell casings were found.
The Pontiac had several bullet holes.
Although a proper timeline was difficult to piece together, police got the first call of shots fired at 1:15 p.m.
A home in the 2600 block of Snowden was riddled with bullets. Calls followed from Jackson and Columbia, the 1000 block of Tillman, and the 2400 block of Lyndale. More shots were fired in the 3000 block of Guernsey.
Officers found multiple shell casings at all locations.
Three men in one vehicle chased two males and two females in the Pontiac, police said.
Witnesses said a car turned off Tillman and headed east on Guernsey with one man standing through the sunroof firing shots with a rifle as another fired from a car window.
"It sounded like the O.K. Corral in the Western days," said witness David McCray.
The men in the pursuing car got away after the crash.
A woman and a 6-month-old baby in the crumpled minivan were hospitalized in non-critical condition. A man who had been riding in the Pontiac was treated for a gunshot wound.
Columbus Williams was driving his pickup eastbound on Summer when the Pontiac ran a stop sign and hit the van and his truck.
"That brown car came out in front of me," he said. "I didn't even have time to hit the brakes."
During the chase, a bullet crashed through an office window at Buckeye Technologies, 1001 Tillman, frightening a woman working there, said Terrence Reed, vice president of human relations.
"The noise kind of scared her, but she's fine," Reed said.
Over on Lyndale, the entire block between Merton and Columbia was marked off by crime-scene tape.
Crowds gathered at each end of the street as officers wearing blue gloves picked up shell casings.
Neighbors said gunshots on the small stretch of street are common.
The rule in the neighborhood is if you hear gunshots, "hit the flo' and get low."
There was no information late Tuesday about whether anyone had been charged in the case or how many were in custody.