Without provocation, "five or six black males in a group" savagely attacked a 70-year-old man on Saturday morning outside of a 7-Eleven, WSYR-TV reports.
James Gifford had just exited the store at around 6 a.m. when the group assaulted the man for no apparent reason, police said. The suspects reportedly used their hands and feet to beat the elderly man. They continued beating him after he fell to the ground, Syracuse.com reports.
Gifford was being treated at Upstate University Hospital for "very serious" injuries.
Police did not identify a motive in the attack or confirm whether it was a robbery or part of something called the "knockout game," where attackers try to knock a person unconscious on the first punch.
Michael Daniels, 51, was beaten to death by attackers playing the "knockout game" in May, according WSYR-TV.
"At this time, police need more information to determine the nature of the beating on Saturday," the report adds.
Police are asking the public as well as witnesses to help them identify the attackers and determine a possible motive in the brutal beating. They are asking citizens to call Syracuse Police at 315-442-5222. All calls will be kept strictly confidential.
The community in Syracuse has reportedly rallied after the senseless attack and people are calling for an end to the violence.
"That's a selfless, defenseless man, and he's the most vulnerable in our community, and when you take advantage of the most vulnerable in our community, the community is not going to stay silent about it. So it strikes the ire of everyone across this city," People's AME Zion Church Pastor Daren Jaime said.
Featured image via AP