A Chicago man has been charged and three others are being held in connection with a series of shootings Tuesday during a funeral procession from Chicago to the west suburbs.
The mayhem started with a report of shots fired just before 1 p.m. outside a funeral service at Prince of Peace Church, 5450 W. Van Buren St., in the West Side Austin neighborhood, according to Chicago and Hillside police.
Following the service, the funeral procession headed west toward Oakridge Cemetery at 4301 Roosevelt Road, Hillside Police Chief Joseph Lukaszek said.
Forest Park police alerted authorities in Hillside as the rowdy group drove through the village and got onto the Eisenhower Expressway. By the time the procession approached Hillside, callers were reporting a person firing a gun from an SUV near the off-ramp for Mannheim Road, Lukaszek said.
The procession was “total chaos,” with passengers were hanging out of the vehicles’ windows and driving in and out of traffic as they headed toward the cemetery, Lukaszek said.
Officers located the SUV from the expressway shooting and trailed it, Lukaszek said.
Worried the car would take off, the chief said he had a split-second decision to make when he saw the SUV try to squeeze through traffic near Mannheim and Hillside roads as it was pursued by officers.
“I could see a gun in the driver’s hand,” Lukaszek said. “He was holding the gun in one hand, the steering wheel with the other, and I just thought we have to end it.”
Police dashcam video captured the chaotic scene as Lukaszek sped forward in his patrol car and rammed the SUV on the rear driver’s side panel. After the SUV was struck, the driver sped away to a Burger King parking lot, where it was rammed by police again.
A brief foot chase followed and four people were taken into custody.
The driver, 24-year-old Marcus Davis of Chicago, was charged Wednesday with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, Lukaszek said. He was expected to appear in court Thursday in Maywood.
Two men and a woman — all in their 20s — were still in police custody with charges pending, Lukaszek said.
After the crash, investigators found three handguns with high-capacity magazines and high-impact ammunition, Lukaszek said in a statement. Between the four taken into custody, they had been arrested more than 160 times.
Lukaszek said the shootings and general mayhem displayed during the funeral procession were believed to be gang related. Problems with funeral processions from Chicago occur on a “nearly weekly” basis in the suburbs, he said.
In February, 36-year-old Sirkarl Freeman, of the Lawndale neighborhood, was gunned down during a funeral at Oakridge Cemetery, authorities said.
Chicago Police usually notify local authorities when such a procession is headed their way, Lukaszek said.
“Typically, [Chicago Police] do a good job keeping us in the loop,” Lukaszek said.
No one was wounded in the shootings, but several officers were treated for injuries related to the crash, Lukaszek said.