03/17/2012 02:03 EDT | Updated 05/17/2012 05:12 EDT

2 men shot in Vancouver

Vancouver police are investigating after two men were shot early Saturday morning.

Police were called to the Italian Kitchen restaurant in the 1000 block of Alberni Street just after midnight.

Two men had been shot and were taken to hospital, where both remain in serious condition.

According to multiple witnesses, the men had just walked out of the restaurant when a lone gunman approached and began firing.

Moments later, the gunman fled on foot. Police launched an intensive search in the area but were unable to find the suspect.

While there is no clear motive at this stage in the investigation, investigators believe the men were targeted.

"More than a dozen people were nearby at the time of the shooting and we know that the potential for innocent people to have been caught up in this violence was very real," said Const. Jana McGuinness.

In a written statement, restaurant owner Emad Yacoub encouraged witnesses to share information with police.

"I am sickened by the news of last night's violence. Our prayers are for those involved and our gratitude for emergency and policing professionals who are addressing the issues runs deep," said the release.

"We would like to thank our staff who were first on the scene to assist."