Suspect was apparently kicked out of gathering at 1200 block of South Pulaski Road before returning with gun: Chicago police
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Surveillance video shows the moment gunfire erupted inside a West Side Halloween party early Sunday morning.
Fifteen people were shot just after 1 a.m. in the North Lawndale neighborhood's 1200 block of South Pulaski Road, police said.
Six women and nine men were shot, police said. The victims' ages range from 26 to 53 years old.
Police said 26-year-old woman and a 48-year-old man were taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in critical condition. The other victims were initially listed in good to fair conditions.
About 100 people were gathered to celebrate Halloween, CPD said during a press conference later Sunday. Video shows party-goers running away, crossing the still busy street at 13th and Pulaski.
"We was in here, having a fun, good time. And, there was arguing. The party had to be let out. All you hear was gunshots. People ducking on the floor, women screaming," said Tywon Tunstall, who was at the party.
Hosted by three local social media comedians, the party was, according to some of those there, wrapping up. Tunstall, a fellow comedian, said people were being checked for guns at the door. On Sunday, he spoke out against those who would shoot into a crowd of people.
"Stupid people with guns kill people. I'm an ex-gang banger, but I put the guns down, because I value my life, you know? People should value life out here. We're trying to stand up and be good for the community, you know, and try to make people laugh, because laughter brings joy," Tunstall said.
Police said the shooter was quickly identified and placed into custody. Officers recovered his weapon.
"Victims relate that the suspect was ejected from the party, and came back a few minutes later and began to shoot," said 10th District CPD Commander William Betancourt.
Resident Will Ricks witnessed the aftermath, including seeing the gunman running away from the scene.
"I was coming down the street, and the guy ran past me with a gun in his hand, crossed the lot and around the corner," Ricks said.
He later found out one of his friends was among the injured.
"He's doing alright right now. He just got shot in the leg. I'm waiting to pick him up from the hospital," Ricks said.
Later on Sunday, members of the North Lawndale community focused on healing, gathering in prayer.
Alderwoman Monique Scott, who represents the 24th Ward, spoke at Sunday afternoon's press conference, acknowledging the trauma the shooting has left on her neighborhood.
"I don't know whether to scream or to cry. We shouldn't be out here on a Sunday because somebody couldn't get into a party," Scott said.
Police and city officials said the party location has a history of hosting "unlicensed events." Now, CPD is getting ready to issue a summary closure order to shut it down.
CPD officials said they are opening an emergency assistance center for people impact by gun violence on Tuesday at 1241 South Pulaski Road. It will be open from noon to 7 p.m.
Area Four detectives are investigating Sunday's shooting. Police did not immediately provide further information.
Mayor Brandon Johnson did not attend Sunday afternoon's press conference, but his office released the following statement:
Early this morning, there was an alleged act of retaliation at a Halloween party in the North Lawndale community that left 15 people injured. Initial reports indicate that the suspect was asked to leave the gathering before returning and senselessly opening fire.
Chicago police responded to the shooting and with the assistance of those in attendance, quickly apprehended the offender.
As with all acts of gun violence in our city, my heart is with the victims, families and communities impacted. The Community Safety Coordination Center will ensure that victims and survivors have the resources they need to address trauma, and my office will continue to mobilize the full force of government in working with City agencies, community-based partners, faith leaders and others to reduce the number of guns on Chicago streets and bring safety to our neighborhoods and families.
Sadly, mass casualty events like these are not exclusive to the City of Chicago. This Halloween weekend alone, 11 people were killed in 12 mass shootings across the country from Tampa to Texarkana. This comes on the heels of last week's devastating mass shooting in Maine.
The proliferation of high-powered artillery is tearing the fabric of our nation, and as long as I am mayor, Chicago will continue to lead the call for common sense gun reform to bring safety to all communities."
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