Three people have been injured in a "drive-by" shooting after a party.
Police were called to a property in Water Lane in Roydon, Harlow, at about 05:00 BST on Saturday, after reports gunshots had been fired from a car.
A man in his 50s suffered multiple gunshot wounds and is in a life-threatening condition in hospital. Two women were also taken to hospital.
The suspects fled and drove off in the direction of Harlow, Essex Police said as they appealed for information.
"It was reported that a number of people had arrived in a car and fired several gunshots at a group of people who were outside the address, having attended a party there," the force said.
The women in their 20s sustained single gunshot wounds and their condition was "not considered to be serious", police said.
Det Insp Greg Wood said: "Our priority is to establish the circumstances around this incident and find those responsible for the shooting.
"The investigation is progressing and we are speaking with witnesses and those linked with the property as part of our inquiries."
The force said officers would be conducting extra patrols around the area to reassure the local community.
Anyone with information has been asked to contact police or Crimestoppers anonymously.