15 People Wounded In Mass Shooting Outside Funeral In Auburn Gresham

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(Screenshot from CBS News story)

By CBS

At least 15 people were wounded Tuesday evening in a mass shooting directed at people attending a funeral in the Auburn Gresham community.

There were 10 female victims and five male victims, according to an update from Chicago police early Wednesday morning. The victims range in age from 21 to 65 years old. Police said at least six people are in serious condition Wednesday morning.

It began as a solemn ceremony for a victim of gun violence, and ended up becoming a gruesome scene of gun violence unto itself.

Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter said a black vehicle was heading west on 79th Street at 6:30 p.m., when people inside began firing at attendees of a funeral. The funeral was taking place at the Rhodes Funeral Services funeral home at 1018 W. 79th St.

The attendees of the funeral began firing back at the vehicle, which turned north on Carpenter Street and kept firing at people from the funeral before crashing into a parked car midway down the block.

The occupants got out and fled in multiple directions, Carter said.

One person of interest was being interviewed Tuesday night.

Carter said the victims five hospitals in unknown conditions. At least 60 shell casings were located.

The Fire Department said at least nine people were transported by ambulances from the scene. The Fire Department said Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and the University of Chicago Medical Center received most of the victims.

Victims were also taken, or found their way to, St. Bernard Hospital, OSF Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Evergreen Park, and Stroger Hospital of Cook County.

The Fire Department said two additional victims were found near 63rd street and were in the process of self-transporting, for a total of 11 transports by their ambulances.

One woman was shot multiple times, and the patients they transported ranged from serious to critical condition at the time they were taken to the hospital, the Fire Department said.

The victims were all adults and no children were shot, police said.

“Right now, it’s not known if anyone was not a part of the funeral or a part of the vehicle,” Carter said. “Of the 14 victims, it’s unknown right now if there were any bystanders, so to speak.”

But CBS 2’s Jermont Terry later learned one victim was an innocent bystander. At Advocate Christ, the woman’s family said she lives next to the funeral home and was outside for a cigarette break when she was caught in the gunfire.

The woman was fighting for her life Tuesday night, her family said.

Sources said there was some kind of planned ambush outside the funeral home.

The funeral was for Donnie Weathersby, 31, who was shot and killed on the afternoon of last Tuesday, July 14, at 74th Street and Stewart Avenue in Englewood. Weathersby was shot in the torso and head, CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported.

Sources told CBS 2’s Brad Edwards that police were forewarned there could be a retaliatory strike at the funeral service. Carter said a squad car was assigned to the funeral.

“That was assigned by the district commander as a precaution because the size of the funeral,” Carter said.

De Mar spoke with people at the scene who said they were at Weathersby’s funeral service when the shots started.

“I saw body after body on the ground,” said witness Arnita Jeder. “It’s a war out here.”

Jeder says she heard the shots and then saw the bodies spilling from Rhodes Funeral Services.

“Why are they shooting like this? This is ridiculous,” Jeder said. “Enough is enough.”

Of the victims, witness Kenneth Hughes said, “There was more woman than men.”

Family rushed to the funeral home after learning loved ones were shot.

“Someone we know was at a service. Someone called us and told us that they were hurt,” one victim’s family member said.

De Mar also spoke to a woman who had blood on her jeans and who did not know whose blood it was.

“There was one guy – he was wounded, stretched out,” Hughes added. “He look deceased.”

De Mar also talked with Tamar Manasseh, the founder of the group Mothers Against Senseless Killing. She said as recently as Tuesday morning, she spoke with Chicago Police – with whom she has a direct line – about the potential for violence at the funeral.

Manasseh said she asked for a special police detail at the funeral.

She said she was talking about the potential for violence for several days on her own social media, and said not enough was done to prevent it.

Some people were treated in front of the nearby Cookie’s Cocktail Lounge at 1024 W. 79th St.

The shooting happened in the Gresham (6th) Police District. Officers from the Englewood (7th) and Grand Crossing (4th) districts, sources told Edwards.

The mass shooting also came on the heels of President Donald Trump offering a reported 175 federal agents to come in and help deal with violence in Chicago. Sources told CBS 2’s Brad Edwards those agents had already arrived in Chicago Tuesday night.

Some law enforcement personnel in military fatigues were spotted at the scene of the shooting, but it was not clear whether they were federal agents.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a series of tweets on the shooting Tuesday night.

“While families were mourning at a funeral in Auburn Gresham, cowardly gunmen opened fire, wounding 14 in a horrific mass shooting. @Chicago_Police are canvassing for evidence and street outreach teams have been deployed to provide trauma and victim support services for residents,” the mayor wrote. “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.”

Crime statistics indicated there were 13 murders last month in the area, compared with three in June 2019. There were five murders in the area just last week.

In the Gresham District, there have been 132 shootings so far this year before Tuesday night, compared with 100 in the same period last year, for an increase of 32 percent.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar, Jermont Terry, and Brad Edwards contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on CBS Local News.

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