A drive-by shooting at a funeral home has left 14 people wounded after mourners were ambushed on Chicago’s South Side, as the city is rocked by yet another day of shocking violence.
Police said at least 60 bullets were fired in the shootout Tuesday evening, when gunmen in a car opened fire on the funeral party, who then returned fire on the vehicle.
Violent crime is soaring across Chicago, with 12 killed in shootings and another 51 injured this weekend – and president Donald Trump has threatened to deploy federal law enforcement agents to restore order.
CCTV footage believed to be from the latest incident shows the horrifying moment mourners were shot at while standing outside the funeral home.
A dark car is seen pulling up by the pavement where attendees of the funeral are gathered.
Gunshots can then be heard and the people run for cover from the bullets.
The car pulls forward and more shots can be heard amid the screams, before it reverses out of view.
It marks the latest in a string of shootings across the city and threatens to increase tensions further between Donald Trump and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot after the two traded barbs this week over the response to the escalating crime across the Windy City.
Trump had already vowed to step in and deploy 150 federal agents to tackle law and order.
Lightfoot hit back at the president, tweeting only hours before the latest shootout that ‘under no circumstance’ will she allow Trump to send in federal agents to ‘terrorize’ the city.
The South Side shooting took place at around 6:30pm Tuesday evening as people were leaving a funeral on the 1018-block of West 79th Street in the Gresham neighborhood of Chicago.
The funeral was being held for a man shot dead last week in the Englewood neighborhood.
First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter confirmed in a press conference Tuesday night that 14 victims had been taken to five different area hospitals and that their conditions are currently unknown.
They include at least four women between the ages of 24 and 38, one of whom was shot in the chest.
Other victims include a 40-year-old man who was shot in the chest, arm and forearm, and two men, 32 and 22, who were shot in a hand.
Fire officials said nine of the victims were taken to hospitals by emergency services, while at least two others drove themselves to hospital.
Police said there are no known juvenile victims but the ages, genders and identities of all of the victims have not yet been released.
One person has been taken into custody and is being interviewed by detectives, Carter said.
The number of shooters is currently unknown.
Carter said the mass shooting began when a black car sped along the road outside the funeral home traveling west on 79th Street and people inside began firing shots at funeral attendees.
The funeral attendees then returned fire on the vehicle, he said.
The vehicle continued driving, turning north on Carpenter Street before it crashed and people left the car and fled in several directions.
Carter said police could not confirm how many shooters there were on both sides but that they ‘have a person of interest being interviewed by detectives of the area’.
A total of 60 shell casings had been recovered from the scene.
Carter would not say who the funeral was for but confirmed that police presence had already been assigned to the funeral ahead of the service.
One witness told NBC Chicago described the city’s streets like ‘a war’, saying they heard gunfire before seeing ‘bodies laying everywhere’ in the street.
‘All we saw was just bodies laying everywhere,’ Arnita Gerder said.
‘Shot up everywhere, all over. Legs, stomach, back, all over the place. We thought it was a war out here.’
‘We saw a car with about six bullet holes in it and it was turned facing the grass like he lost control. We saw a hat down on the ground and evidently it was his,’ another witness Kenneth Hughes told NBC Chicago.
Footage from the aftermath showed the area cordoned off by police tape and several emergency services vehicles in the area.
Officers were seen placing evidence markers on the road and on a bullet-riddled vehicle.
Family members were pictured later in the night waiting outside one of the nearby hospitals.
Lightfoot blasted the latest violence in a Twitter thread where she said there are ‘too many guns on our streets and in the hands of people who should never possess them’.
Chicago has been ravaged by a surge in violence in recent weeks, with a 48 percent spike in homicides and 46 percent rise in shootings compared to the same time last year, according to the latest Chicago Police Department figures.
More than 2,000 people have been shot in Chicago so far this year, with 25 shot, including four fatally, on Monday alone.
This followed an equally bloody weekend, where 63 were shot including 12 dead.
With violence surging across the city, local officials and the federal government argued over the handling of the growing crisis.
Trump said Monday he would take matters into his own hands and send federal agents to Chicago and several other Democrat cities including Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia to tackle the spiraling crime and crack down on protests against racism and police brutality.
But Lightfoot said she would not allow that to happen, after federal agents without visible identification were deployed in Portland and accused of brutalizing protesters.
Lightfoot tweeted Tuesday afternoon: ‘Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents.’
Lightfoot warned earlier that she would take Trump to court if he sent unidentified US government agents to police the city without her permission.
‘What we do not need, and what will certainly make our community less safe is secret, federal agents deployed to Chicago,’ she said.
‘Any other form of militarized assistance within our borders that would not be within our control or within the direct command of the Chicago Police Department would spell disaster.’
Lightfoot added: ‘As any law enforcement official will tell you, what is needed more than anything in an operation to protect lives is a clear mission, a detailed operations plan, and a chain of command Secret, federal agents who do not know Chicago, are unfamiliar with the unique circumstances of our neighborhoods and who would operate outside the established infrastructure of local law enforcement would not be effective, regardless of the number, and worse will foment a massive wave of opposition.’
But Lightfoot also said Tuesday she would accept identified FBI agents and other law enforcement officials to work alongside local law enforcement, in a sign local officials are buckling under the weight of the growing crime spree.
Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth also warned Trump not to even ‘think about’ sending in federal agents to Chicago.
‘My message to DHS [Department of Homeland Security] and President Trump is don’t even think about it,’ Duckworth said in an interview with MSNBC Tuesday.
She said instead that if Trump is serious about tackling gun violence, he should focus on making gun laws stricter.
The White House is planning to send a total of 150 agents to Chicago this weekend, though it is not clear what department they will come from or what their mission will be.
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told a briefing Tuesday that dispatching agents was justified by a federal statute empowering the secretary of Homeland Security to deputize agents to protect federal property and people on that property.
‘It’s egregious what’s happening,’ McEnany said, rattling off a number of incidents where people who joined protests have thrown objects at officers.
‘President Trump is taking action in Portland, even though you have a Democrat mayor and Democrat governor unwilling to work with us in the situation. We are surging resources along with secretary [Chad] Wolf at DHS and augmenting the federal protective service to safeguard federal property,’ she said.
McEnany added that federal agents had not yet been sent in to Chicago.
The president’s wading in to Chicago comes after dozens of police officers were injured by protesters hurling fireworks and frozen water bottles at them during a protest over a statue of Christopher Columbus Friday night.
Trump has already taken controversial action in Portland, where protests have gone on for more than 50 nights since the police-involved killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
On Monday, video showed federal agents in Portland firing tear gas at protesters pulling down fencing around the federal courthouse.
Oregon’s governor and Portland’s mayor have expressed anger over the presence of the federal agents, saying the city’s protests had started to ease just as the federal agents started taking action and stoking up more hostility.