On Tuesday, fifteen people were wounded in a drive-by shooting at a funeral home in Chicago. According to local police, the shooting occurred during a funeral for the victim of a drive-by shooting. There are multiple suspects but no arrests have been made, though one person of interest is being interviewed by law enforcement. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown says police believe that the funeral may have been a targeted attack.
Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter told CBS Chicago that a black vehicle arrived at the funeral home where a memorial service was taking place. This is when people in the vehicle began firing at the funeral. When funeral attendees began firing back, the vehicle drove away as those inside continued to shoot. Halfway up the block, the vehicle crashed and people inside got out and fled the scene in multiple directions, said Carter. In total, 60 shell casings were found.
At least nine of those shot at the funeral are in serious to critical condition, authorities say. The Washington Post reports that 15 people were injured in total. One person injured was reportedly a bystander who lived next to the funeral home and was not attending the funeral. She was outside smoking a cigarette when she got caught in the gunfire and is now at the hospital fighting for her life.
It is unclear how many of those injured were from the funeral and how many were from the vehicle, though initial reports indicate that no children were harmed. Refinery29 reached out to the Chicago Police Department for more information.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to the news pleading for an end to the “senseless violence.” “To the cowards behind these shootings, we have to ask you to find your humanity,” said Lightfoot. “Picking up a gun, that solves nothing, but causes so much lifelong pain.”
The funeral was for Donnie Weathersby, who was killed in a drive-by shooting on July 14, reports CBS Chicago. Chicago Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said Weathersby’s death was due to a “gang conflict,” adding that the investigation found that his murder was “related to a prior shooting and murder incident.”
“A drive-by shooting in Chicago more than likely always leads to some kind of retaliation,” said Brown. “It’s about revenge, the cycle of revenge, the cycle of retaliation that fuels our shootings and murders.”
Brown also explained that sending squad cars is a typical response for any funeral believed to have a connection to widespread local conflicts. Police were reportedly warned that the funeral could be the target of a retaliatory attack. As a result, city officials say that two squad cars were assigned to the funeral and that a tactical team was in the area. No officers were injured during the shooting.
Officials say there is video surveillance and several eye witness reports of the crime; however, Lightfoot encouraged the community to come forward with any information they may have. “Anyone with information, I implore you to not be silent at this moment,” she said at the press conference. “If we are silent, the violence will continue.”