Gunmen opened fire at a house party on the city’s South Side early Sunday, wounding 13 people and sparking bedlam as partygoers fleeing for safety encountered more shooting on the street outside, police said.
Patrol Chief Fred Waller said two “persons of interest” were being questioned. One was armed with a revolver and the other had suffered a gunshot wound at the party in the Englewood neighborhood, he said.
“There was a dispute where shots were fired inside,” Waller said. “The people started to spill out, and as they spilled out more shots were fired. So we have about three (shooting) scenes.”
Waller said the party was a memorial for someone who had been killed in April. He described a “chaotic” scene but said officers arrived within minutes and were assisting the wounded before ambulances arrived. Some of the outside shooting was caught on police surveillance video, he said.
“Definitely there were two different shooters,” Waller said. “It looked like they were just shooting randomly at people as they exited the party.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot visited some of the victims at University of Chicago Hospital and urged people with information about the shooting to come forward to police. She also urged community leaders and neighbors to rally support for families suffering from gun violence.
“People deserve to live their lives without fear of someone pulling out a gun,” she said. “Especially in a moment of reflection and remembrance during the holiday season.”
The Rev. Michael Pfleger, senior pastor at nearby Saint Sabina Church, said that too often guns are used to express “pain, anger and frustration.”
“They were gathered to remember someone else who was Killed,” Pfleger said on Facebook. “So this is how we remember??? When do we end this GUN MADNESS? Anywhere else in the Country this is a Mass Shooting, in Chicago it’s just Another Shooting.”
The victims’ ages ranged from 16 to 48, Waller said, and the violence appeared to stem from a personal dispute as opposed to a gang-related attack.
Terrence Daniely, who lives nearby, told ABC7-TV he was awakened by the gunfire.
“I heard the sounds of people screaming and running from a party on the street,” he said. “The police response was amazing, it seemed like there were 100 police officers running to the scene.”
Alderman Stephanie Coleman said she went to the scene after receiving phone calls from several nearby residents. She said the party apparently had taken place in a vacant unit.
Coleman said she was concerned for kids and for seniors living on the “wonderful” block.
“I saw disappointment, I saw frustration, I saw fear,” she said. “I saw lots of concerned neighbors getting to the bottom of it.”