- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A service for a shooting victim on the South Side of Chicago ended with a drive-by shooting and a gun battle that claimed more than a dozen victims.

Police First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter said at an evening press conference that 14 people sustained gunshot wounds, but police confirmed on Wednesday morning that 15 were injured.

Chicago TV station ABC-7, citing the Chicago Fire Department, reported that 11 people were hospitalized, “all in serious to critical condition.” The discrepancies in the hospital counts may arise from people self-transporting to hospital.

Superintendent Carter provided no other details on conditions, the victims, or any suspects or motive during the press conference. On Wednesday morning, police said a person of interest was being questioned.

According to ABC-7, the gunfight happened at Rhodes Funeral Services in the city’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

The shots, from an unknown number of gunmen, rang out around 6:30 p.m. CDT as the service was ending and people were starting to leave.

Police told reporters that the occupants of a black car driving westbound on 79th Street began firing at the funeral and that people at the funeral returned gunfire.

Kenneth Hughes, another witness at the scene, told Chicago’s NBC-5 station that “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.”

More than 60 bullet holes and/or shell casings were marked at the scene. 

According to police, the drive-by gunmen fled in different directions after the car crashed. Police said “a person of interest” is being interviewed, but there is no indication he is a suspect.

Neighborhood residents Arnita Geder and Kenneth Hughes told the Chicago Sun Times that they heard numerous gunshots while at home watching TV.

“We went out in the street and all we saw was bodies just laying everywhere,” Ms. Geder said. “They were shot up everywhere.”

Ms. Geder added that the two “thought it was a war out here. It’s ridiculous all the shooting that’s going on out here. It really has to stop.”

Chicago has seen an epidemic of shootings and murders in recent months, which has prompted much sniping between the city’s Democrat-dominated government and the White House.

President Trump has offered federal help in securing the city’s streets.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said earlier Tuesday that some federal agents will be deployed, but she added emphatically that it would not be on terms like what happened in Portland, which she called “unconstitutional” and the stuff of “dictatorship.”

• This article was based in part on wire service reports.

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