It was a Scorpio birthday bash, a celebration of life for a half-dozen men born under that sign of the zodiac. A party to mark another year of survival, when so many of their friends had died in gang wars or reckless activity.

And then the shots rang out. About 3:30 a.m. yesterday, one man was shot in the head and the gunfire wounded four other people, including two women, inside the Atlanta Party Hall on Ellesmere Road in Scarborough.

Then people ran for the exits, hoping to get their cars from the parking lot before police arrived and sealed it off.

“Everybody was having fun,” one man said, asking that his name not be used for fear of reprisals. “Once a year, you live to see your age. I’m happy to live to see 33. Then I heard a pop, pop, pop, pop. The crowd opened up and everybody ran.”

No suspects have been identified in the shooting.