By WILLIAM MANSELL and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News
(CHICAGO) — At least 15 people were shot outside a Chicago funeral home in a drive-by shootout during a ceremony for a man who was killed in an earlier drive-by shooting, according to the Chicago Police Department.
The city’s mayor and police officials are urging the public to come forward with information to help end the cycle of violence.
An unknown number of people inside a vehicle shot at a crowd attending a funeral on West 79th Street in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said. The individuals on the street then exchanged gunfire with the people in the vehicle, according to authorities.
Police said the suspects crashed the car which was stolen, and fled the scene.
“As the people were coming out of the funeral home, the shots rang out like they were literally raining on them,” witness Jenneth Hughes told ABC Chicago station WLS.
Police said 15 people, 10 women and five men, whose ages range from 21 to 65, were taken to five different hospitals with gunshot wounds. Three women and three men were listed in serious condition while the remaining victims were listed in good condition, according to police.
There were 60 shell casings found at the scene, according to David Brown, the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. One person was being questioned, and the investigation is ongoing, police said.
Brown told reporters during a news conference Monday that the funeral was for a man who was recently killed during a drive-by shooting in the Englewood neighborhood. Two police cars were deployed to the funeral home and a tactical team was in the area as a precaution once the police got word of the ceremony, according to Brown.
“Every funeral with any evidence of any type of gang affiliation is treated the same way,” he said.
Brown said none of the officers who were in the area were hurt during the drive-by.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned the shooters for allegedly taking advantage of the service to enact revenge.
“To the cowards behind this shooting … we have to ask you to find your humanity,” she told reporters.
Tuesday’s shooting is the latest in a recent trend of increased violent incidents in the city, according to Chicago police data. The number of shootings this year as of July 19 is 1,637. That is 537 more shootings, or a 47% jump, compared to the same period last year, according to the CPD.
There have been 414 recorded murders in Chicago this year as of July 19, an increase of 139 from the same period in 2019, a roughly 51% jump, police statistics show.
Brown noted several times during the news conference there are over 117,000 gang members in the city and they are divided up into thousands of sub-factions.
He and Lightfoot urged anyone with information related to the shootings to come forward and help with the investigation by contacting the police’s tip line.
Brown also urged anyone who is thinking about retaliation for this incident or committing any violence as part of a dispute to “put your guns down.”
“The response too often is picking up a gun to seek vengeance,” he said. “A bullet for a bullet is killing these families, these neighborhoods.”
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