Police have not identified the victims, but said a 25-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man were among the dead, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The conditions of those who were wounded was not immediately known.
Police said no arrests have been made, but that two semi-automatic handguns were recovered at the scene. Pace said authorities are waiting until later on Sunday to access surveillance footage from nearby businesses that were closed when the shooting broke out.
Meanwhile, witnesses described the chaotic scenes as people on the street ran to avoid the gunfire.
Eric Walsh told The Inquirer that he was closing up the outdoor seating area of O’Neals, a bar on Third Street, when he heard gunshots. He said he ushered two customers inside when he saw a woman fall to the ground nearby.
“People were coming off the street with blood splatters on white sneakers and skinned knees and skinned elbows,” Walsh told the newspaper. “We literally just were balling up napkins and wetting them and handing them to people… it was chaos.”
Max Marin, a reporter for The Inquirer, tweeted that blood could be seen along the sidewalk.
There are “signs of pandemonium stretching several blocks,” Marin added in another tweet. “Broken car window glass. Knocked over trashcans.”
The police department urged people to avoid the area in a post on Twitter.
Officers also responded to reports of gunfire on Broad Street, two blocks north of South Street, about two hours after the shooting.
About an hour after that, a man was found unconscious with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, The Inquirer reported.
The Philadelphia Police Department has been contacted for further comment.
Saturday night’s mass shooting is the latest to take place amid renewed calls for gun control measures prompted by massacres at a Buffalo supermarket and Texas elementary school last month.
By KHALEDA RAHMAN