Gunfire close to a crowd outside at bar-closing time early Monday in downtown Minneapolis wounded three people, including two critically, officials said.

The shooting occurred about 2 a.m. on Hennepin Avenue between N. 4th and 5th streets, police said.

"Preliminary information indicates that an altercation escalated to gunfire," a police statement read. "Shots were fired in the presence of a crowd."

The men, ages 27 and 28, were critically wounded, and a 32-year-old woman was less seriously injured, police said. Emergency medical personnel took all three to HCMC. Officials have yet to release their identities.

No arrests have been announced as the investigation continues into the circumstances surrounding the shooting and "the connection each of the injured have with the incident," the police statement continued.