PATERSON, NJ - Authorities are investigating a shooting outside Fusion night club early Sunday morning that left a 25-year-old Paterson man in critical condition.

The victim was wounded at least three times in his upper body in the incident near the corner of Beech and Essex streets, said Sgt. Patrick Murray, head of the Cease Fire unit.

So far, investigators are not sure what precipitated the shooting, Murray said. Police officers on routine patrol in the area heard multiple gunshots at about 3:20 am, Murray said. When they arrived at the scene, they found a large crowd outside the club, he said. While dispearsing the crowd, they spotted a handgun in the street, he said.

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At about that time, police were called by St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, where someone had brought in a victim with multiple gunshot wounds, Murray said. It turned out that person had been wounded outside Fusion, he said. The victim, a resident of E. 19th Street, is in critical, but stable condition. It's still not clear exactly how many times the man was shot as medical staff assess which wounds were from bullets entered his body and which were from bullets leaving his body, Murray said. 

Authorities are asking anyone with any information on this incident to contact the Paterson Police Cease-Fire Unit at 973-321-1342 or by utilizing the confidential TIPS hotline, 973-523-TIPS.