Police have confirmed that there has been a shooting in downtown Cambridge.

It happened in the area of King Street East and Church Street around 5:30 p.m.

Police say one woman was taken to hospital. Around 7:10 p.m., police said the woman had been pronounced deceased.

The victim has been identified as Helen Schaller, 58, of Cambridge.

A witness says she heard the sound of gunshots from her living room.

"There was another woman that I assume was either a friend of the victim or a neighbour who called 911, and she was out getting the cops to come by and take the alley over there," says Vivianne Vale. "She was running out really panicked and concerned for probably the victim."

It's not clear what the motive for the shooting was or whether police have any leads on suspects. It's not yet known whether the shooting was targeted or not.

Crime scene tape was set up in the parking lot behind a row of buildings on King where police were investigating.

A command post has been set up in the area. Police say investigators are reviewing video, gathering statements and canvassing the neighbourhood. Anyone with information is encouraged to approach an officer.

Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry and Coun. Mike Mann issued a press release in response to the incident.

"Citizens in Cambridge have a right to feel safe and secure, and we will be meeting with (Police) Chief Larkin to ensure we are doing everything we possibly can to protect our neighbourhoods. We will also be meeting with residents in Preston who, I know, share our deep concern," the statement reads in part.

The street remained open to vehicles and pedestrians, with police coming and going from an alley way.