Ten people were shot, two fatally, while gathered on Chicago’s Southwest Side Sunday at a vigil for the victim of another deadly shooting, drawing more outcry over the use of assault weapons in the city.
The shooting occurred around 5:17 p.m. near the intersection of W. 46th Pl. and S. Rockwell St. in the city’s Brighton Park neighborhood, according to police.
The victims were at a memorial for a deadly shooting that had occurred earlier in the day when bullets were fired anew, Deputy Police Superintendent Kevin Navarro said at a news conference.
Two people emerged from an alley east of the vigil — in memory of a 26-year-old man killed around 4:30 a.m. in that same block — and opened fire with rifles, Navarro said. The attack was believed to be a gang-related retaliation, according to police.
Two adults, a man and a woman, were pronounced dead at the scene. Eight other victims were taken to several area hospitals, authorities said. Details on their conditions or injuries were not immediately available.
Balloons and still-lit candles were visible at the scene, which remained cordoned off with police tape for several hours.
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The shooting occurred less than two miles from where two Chicago police officers were shot with similar, high-powered rifles on Tuesday night.
Officials said there was no reason to believe the shooting of the officers was connected to Sunday's attack, but 15th Ward Alderman Ray Lopez drew a parallel between both incidents in once again decrying the area's violence, and specifically, the proliferation of assault rifles.
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"This is the second time in a week we’re here tonight talking about assault weapons being used in our communities," Lopez said. "Last week, we’ve seen assault rifles used on police. Today, they’re used on gang members in the Brighton Park community in broad daylight — on a Sunday, on a day when everyone should have been at home, doing gardening, enjoying each other’s company."
Lopez has spoken out several times in the wake of shootings on the city's Southwest Side, often calling for stricter gun laws at the state and federal levels.
"A multitude of shots rang out. The wake-up call has been here and it's time for us to act," Lopez continued. "We must stand together to put an end to this nonsense in our neighborhoods."
As a response to the shooting, Chicago police moved additional gang and tactical teams into the community to "flood the area," Deputy Chief Kevin Ryan said.
"We have a fairly good idea of the conflict involved and where we need to be deployed, so right now, we're trying to saturate the area and ensure that nothing else happens tonight and going into the next couple days," Ryan added.
No one is in custody in connection with Sunday's shooting, as authorities continue to investigate.