CHICAGO (WLS) -- Six people were shot as they left a funeral service for a local rapper in Burnside on Monday.
Chicago police responded to reports of the shooting in the 9200-block of South Cottage Grove at about 12:40 p.m., according to a tweet by Chicago police chief communications officer Anthony Guglielmi. People were gathered at the Bethlehem Star Church for the funeral of Vantrease Criss, a rapper also known as "Dooskie The Man," who had been killed about a week ago, police said. The six were shot as people exited the church and got into their cars.
Pastor Roosevelt Watkins was at the back of the church when the shots began. He described the scene unfolding outside.
"It was pandemonium. People ducking under cars, running for their lives, for safety, running back inside of the church, trying to get out of harm's way," he said.
"It sounded more or less like at least 40-50 gunshots from our backyard. And we came right away, there was gun shellings back here, there was blood on the floor. Right away the ambulance and the police came, immediately," said Ruth Rivera, who lives nearby.
The Chicago Fire Department was also called to the scene because a bullet hit a gas line.
The victims ranged in age from 18 to 27 years old. Most were transported to local hospitals in stable condition.
A 27-year-old woman was shot in the leg and lower body. She was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in stable condition. A 25-year-old man was shot in the arm and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in stable condition. A 24-year-old man was shot in the leg and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in stable condition. A 23-year-old man was shot in the leg and taken to Trinity Hospital in stable condition. The youngest victim, an 18-year-old man, was shot in the buttock and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in stable condition.
The most seriously wounded victim is also a rapper, police said. He was shot in the head but was able to speak with authorities while being treated. His age is not known and he is at the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition.
Chopper 7HD was over the scene and captured scenes of the crowd outside the building where the shootings allegedly happened and a heavy police presence and crime scene tape up in the area.
Half a block away from the scene, at 92nd Street and Dauphin Avenue, Chopper 7HD observed police taking three or four people into custody who were in a silver car. It is unclear if the activity at 92nd and Dauphin was connected to the reported shootings.
As of 3:45 p.m., police had not yet determined who opened fire on the group as they left the church.
Sherri Savage owns Chesterfield Tom Thumb Day Care Center, which is located across the street from where the shooting happened. The facility had about 25 children inside and was placed on lockdown.
"I'm just afraid. I'm afraid. And I don't know what else to. I'm thinking about shutting down or moving the location," she said.
No one was in custody. Area South detectives are investigating.
6 people shot while leaving Burnside funeral for slain rapper, authorities say