Chicago police say they need the public’s help to solve Tuesday night’s mass shooting in Washington Park that left two people dead and at least seven others hurt.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the victims as 43-year-old Lionel Coward and 19-year-old Khalil Denny.
Authorities say two groups were in the park at approximately 7:45 pm Tuesday when an argument broke out. Soon after, dozens of shots were fired, striking nine people.
“There are a lot of shell casings at scene, so likely both groups fired but we have to prove that,” said Police Supt. David Brown.
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Police are offering a $15,000 reward for information in connection with the shooting. Tipsters can call 833-408-0069, and can remain anonymous.
Meanwhile, Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey held a press conference at Washington Park Wednesday afternoon to highlight his stance on crime, saying he is committed to addressing the problem in every neighborhood.
Bailey also lashed out against his Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
“I am sorry we have to be here today on such an occasion,” said Bailey. “It breaks my heart as well to see what is happening across Chicago, especially what happened near here last night. Those effected by the senseless shootings in Washington Park, Garfield Park and the families of the more than 500 people who have been killed in Chicago this year, I want you to know that I am fighting to end this bloodshed. I have some questions and they are simple: Does J.B. Pritzker, Lori Lightfoot and Kim Foxx, do they even care?"
Some activists and others accused Baily of exploiting the shooting for political gain and votes.
Bamani Obadele is with Acclivus, an anti-violence organization that does street outreach. They’ve been organizing baseball games in the park to bring people together peacefully.
“This is disgraceful,” said Obadele. “You have two people dead, seven shot…He did not come here with a group of mental health counselors. He is living in ivory tower downtown talking to people on South Side…If he wanted to impress us, pitch a tent and move into Washington Park.”