At least 14 people were wounded and hospitalized in a shooting at a funeral home on the South Side of Chicago on Tuesday, police said. The victims’ conditions are unclear.
What We Know:
- Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter said during a memorial service in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, a black vehicle approached the funeral home and people within the vehicle began shooting. As some funeral attendees fired back, the vehicle drove away as its occupants continued firing. About halfway up the block, the vehicle crashed and the occupants fled in multiple directions. At the scene, police recovered at least 60 shell casings.
- Victims, whose conditions are unknown, are being treated at five different hospitals. The fire department told CBS Chicago all of the victims were adults and at least nine of them were in serious or critical condition. It was unclear how many of the victims were from the funeral and how many were, if any, from the vehicle. At least one victim was an innocent bystander. According to her family members at a local hospital, the victim lives next to the funeral home and was outside for a cigarette break and got caught in the gunfire. Her relatives said she was fighting for her life.
- Sources said the shooting was allegedly a planned ambush outside the funeral home. The funeral was for Donnie Weathersby, who was shot and killed on July 14. Sources also said the police were warned that a retaliatory attack might take place at the funeral service. Carter did not confirm that as the motive of the attack but said a squad car had been assigned to the funeral.
- According to the police, a person of interest was being interviewed by law enforcement, but there are still multiple suspects.
- The shooting came amid a surge of gun violence in the city. At least 336 people had been killed as of early July, sending Chicago toward one of its deadliest years since the mid-1990s. The shooting also came on the heels of President Trump announcing his plan to soon deploy about 150 federal law enforcement officials to Chicago to help deal with the city’s ongoing gun violence.
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot voiced concern about the role they might play. “The deployment of unnamed special secret agents onto our streets to detain people without cause and to effectively take away their civil rights and civil liberties without due process — that is not going to happen in Chicago,” she said in a news conference on Tuesday. Lightfoot also took to Twitter after the shooting on Tuesday condemning the gun violence in Chicago and urging anyone with information to come forward. “When a person picks up a gun, we suffer as a city. This cannot be who we are,” Lightfoot said.
Far too many have suffered. Far too many have attended funerals and tried to start the process of healing entire communities following another senseless tragedy. When a person picks up a gun, we suffer as a city. This cannot be who we are.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 22, 2020
- Chicago resident Keisha James lives around the corner from the funeral home and said she heard the gunshots at the funeral service. She talked with reporters about how the level of gun violence had grown sickening as she attended services for 3 different people killed by gun violence in the past few days. When asked about Trump’s plan to dispatch federal law enforcement agents, James said it would not work. “Whether he sends people here or not, this is not over. This has been going on and will continue,” she said, adding, “It’s going to make it worse.”
No further details about the victims or suspects have been released. An investigation by the police is ongoing, and officers are asking for any video or tips from the community to help identify the suspects.