A gunman emerged from an alley early this morning and fired multiple shots at a group of people who were standing on a Pioneer Square sidewalk, according to Seattle police.

A gunman emerged from an alley early this morning and fired several shots at a group of people who were standing on a Pioneer Square sidewalk, according to Seattle police.

Two men were critically injured and a third received minor injuries despite being shot several times, said police spokeswoman Renee Witt.

“There’s a definite connection between these victims and the suspect,” but detectives don’t know what that connection is yet, she said. Members of the department’s homicide, gang and crime-scene investigation units are interviewing witnesses, trying to determine a motive and come up with a suspect description, Witt said. No arrests have been made.

At 2:35 a.m., police received a 911 call that shots had been fired on James Street between First and Second avenues. The gunman, walking south through an alley, opened fire on a group of people who were standing on the sidewalk. Two men, 28 and 23, received life-threatening injuries and are being treated at Harborview Medical Center, Witt said. The third victim is a 34-year-old man. He was treated and released.

The victims aren’t “necessarily innocent bystanders,” Witt said, adding that police want to reassure the public that the shooting “is not a random deal.”