6-time convicted felon charged in mass shooting at North Lawndale Halloween party

CPD opens emergency assistance center to help community heal

ByEvelyn Holmes, Cate Cauguiran, and Stephanie Wade WLS logo
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
6-time convicted felon charged in Halloween party mass shooting
William Groves, a six-time convicted felon, has been charged after 15 people were injured in a Chicago shooting near Roosevelt and Pulaski.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Six-time convicted felon William Groves remains in a lockup after prosecutors convinced a Cook County judge he's a danger to society.

The 48-year-old is accused of opening fire in a crowd of people attending a Halloween party in the city's North Lawndale neighborhood, injuring 15 people.

CPD Superintendent Larry Snelling, Mayor Brandon Johnson, Sate's Attorney Kim Foxx and others announced charges in a North Lawndale shooting that wounded 15 people.

"He's a convicted felon who shouldn't have had a gun," said CPD Supt. Larry Snelling.

Groves, who had a pre-trial detention hearing on Tuesday, has arrests and convictions dating back to when he was 19 years old.

He faces 15 counts of attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon for the attack that happened early Sunday in the 1200 block of South Pulaski Road.

"While the other party-goers, the manager and security began shooting inside of that location," said First Assistant State's Attorney Risa Lanier.

Authorities said Groves was one of 100 party-goers at Studio 1258. He was ejected from the party after a "disturbance inside," and returned with a gun before opening fire.

He took a picture with one of the comedians before the violence erupted.

"We apologize on behalf of everybody off other victims and everything on top we have, and we don't push violence at all," said party promoter Darrin Harris.

The nine men and six women were wounded. They range in age from 26 to 53, and two victims were reported to be in critical condition.

One of the victims, Paris Brown, who goes by "Tree," was shot in the back. He spoke with ABC7 on Tuesday from his hospital bed, saying the bullet traveled and is still lodged in his skull.

Paris Brown, who goes by "Tree," was shot in the back during the North Lawndale attack.

"People are on the floor. I couldn't really move anywhere, so I just started feeling myself getting shot. So, I just drop on the ground, and I kept hearing the shooter shooting. It sounded like he was never going to stop," Tree said.

Mayor Brandon Johnson and the other officials at Tuesday's news conference all credit to the community with providing information that lead to a quick arrest.

Meanwhile, the event space, Studio 1258, will be closed under the city's summary closure ordinance.

Authorities said the space has a history of unlicensed events. The party promoters say they did everything in their power to make sure the celebration was safe.

"Because it was too many vectors, and if the license would make sense to build a license, or whatever, that would have prevented the shooting. Like, what? That would have prevented anything," said prompter Jermaine Banks.

Police are still investigating how Groves got the gun as well as if there were any other shooters. Groves is due back in court on Nov. 13.

City leaders also made a promise on Tuesday to hold themselves accountable in helping the North Lawndale community heal, not just physically, but from the emotional trauma form Sunday's shooting.

"This should be shocking to our systems, shake us to our core. Maine, Texas, we must do better and hold this individual accountable," said Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.

Also on Tuesday, across the street from the scene of the shooting, at the Young Men's Education Network on Pulaski, there is a pathway to healing.

Chicago police opened an emergency assistance center across from where a North Lawndale mas shooting injured 15 people.

"When violence like this disrupts our city it's literally at our front doors, people impacted for a long time, recklessness of those who want to create harm and fear," Johnson said.

Violence prevention group Korrecting Our Own Lives made their presence known where the shooting happened.

"What we also out here trying to do is provide assistance and resources that can help people in the community and also try and change the trajectory of the violence," said Devon Tims with Korrecting Our Own Lives.

Chicago police opened an emergency assistance center there.

"We want them to know that they are still safe. They're loved. The supportive services are here. We're not going anywhere. We're going to double down to make sure that the narrative told about this community is one of flourishing and not one of suffering," said Young Men's Educational Network Founder and Executive Director Mike Trout. "When one suffers, we all suffer and the same takes place for healing. If we can heal together, we will heal."

The emergency assistance center will be open until 7 p.m.

It is open to victims, their families and anyone impacted by shootings in the city.

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