North Lawndale

At least 15 shot at Halloween party in North Lawndale, Chicago police say

The suspect fled the scene and was taken into custody nearby in the 4000 block of 14th Street, according to police.

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At least 15 people were injured in a mass shooting at a Halloween party in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood on Sunday morning, authorities said.

Officers with the Chicago Police Department were called to the 1200 block of South Pulaski at approximately 1:04 a.m. Sunday for reports of shots fired, according to a statement from law enforcement.

When responding units arrived, officers reportedly observed a suspect firing shots into a building where a large gathering of around 100 people was taking place. The suspect fled the scene and was taken into custody nearby in the 4000 block of 14th Street, William Betancourt, CPD's 10th District commander, said at a news conference.

A total of 15 people sustained gunshot wounds during the attack, police said. A 26-year-old woman was among the victims, shot in the left hip and right buttocks. She was transported to an area hospital in critical condition, police said.

A second victim, a 48-year-old man, was shot in both legs and hips, and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Other victims, ranging between 26 and 53 years old were all listed in good-to-fair condition at area hospitals with a variety of injuries, police said. While there has not been a motive established for the shooting, police officials said the suspect had been ejected from the party and later returned with a gun.

"A lot of gunshots," witness Tywon Tunstall recalled. "I was ducking for cover. I was scared.”

Marisol Martinez, who manages a shop nearby, said mass shootings are out of control, but she never imagined one would happen across the street.

"It’s sadly becoming the new normal, which is sad," she said. "It shouldn’t be like this. You shouldn’t be so numb to this."

The suspect had yet to be named as of Sunday afternoon, and charges hadn't been filed by the Cook County State's Attorney's office. The location where the gathering took place has a history of hosting unsanctioned events, Betancourt said.

The site is licensed as an art gallery, but parties, like the one that occurred Sunday morning, aren't sanctioned under that license, the CPD commander explained. Once CPD detectives complete the investigation into the shooting, Chicago's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will investigate and "take action as needed."

If violations are found, the department will not hesitate to issue various types of enforcement actions, said Ivan Capifali, BACP first deputy commissioner.

"We simply can not let bad operators put the well being of Chicagoans at risk," he said.

Betancourt said a previous event, which took place at the location on May 6, was quickly shut down after city officials learned about it.

"This one was all done by word of mouth so we were not aware we were caught off guard," the CPD commander explained.

Mayor Brandon Johnson issued a statement, in part, saying, "As with all acts of gun violence in our city, my heart is with the victims, families and communities impacted."

"Sadly, mass casualty events like these are not exclusive to the City of Chicago," he stated. "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 city is planning to open an emergency assistance center for those affected by gun violence at the Young Mens Educational Network, 1241 S. Pulaski Rd. It will be up and running from 12 to 7 p.m.

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