Chicago police say investigators are searching for at least three suspects in connection with a shooting at a funeral Tuesday night that left 15 people wounded in what was believed to be a "cycle" of gang retaliation.
Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said during a news conference Wednesday morning that investigators had obtained surveillance video of the shooting, which took place at around 6:30 p.m. the night before in the 1000 block of West 79th Street in the city's Gresham neighborhood.
"We do have video surveillance of the incident. It's not graphic enough to give personal identifiers at this time where we could just give you the information like we did in the one case, where hopefully somebody would call," Deenihan said, adding that police were continuing to gather more information and obtain more video.
Police classified the shooting as part of a "cycle" of gang retaliation in which gunmen in a black vehicle opened fire on people attending the funeral, which their intelligence indicated was for a man killed in a drive-by shooting in Englewood earlier in the month. That drive-by shooting was also in retaliation for an earlier shooting, authorities said.
People at the funeral on Tuesday evening in turn fired back and the vehicle crashed midway down the block, where three suspects then fled, according to police. Authorities also said the car in question was stolen prior to the shooting.
"As far as the suspects are concerned… we believe that there were three suspects in this vehicle. And we believe that two of them were shooters and that they fled the scene," Deenihan said.
"So now we have to start digging to get more information," Deenihan continued, adding, "There's several people out there when this occurred. We believe that the suspects in this case, obviously people know that they were going to do this. We don't think this was just random. So we're looking for anybody with information to bring it forward to us."
One person of interest was in custody shortly after the incident, police said.
Six victims were taken to three hospitals in serious condition, according to police: a 38-year-old man and 26-year-old woman at the University of Chicago Hospital, a 31-year-old man, a 32-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman at Advocate Christ Medical Center, as well as a 49-year-old woman at Stroger Hospital, officials said.
Nine people were listed in good condition, according to police: A 21-year-old woman at Little Company of Mary, a 24-year-old woman at St. Bernard and a 65-year-old woman who was treated on the scene. Three women, ages 37, 24 and 27, were all listed in good condition at the University of Chicago Hospital, according to police. Three others -- a 30-year-old woman, a 22-year-old man and a 31-year-old man -- were in good condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center, authorities said.
It was not immediately clear if all of the victims were attending the funeral.
"Too many people in Chicago have been touched by gun violence and the response too often is picking up a gun to seek vengeance," Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said. "There is no comfort in revenge."
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called those responsible for the shooting "cowardly."
"The senseless violence, this cycle of retaliation, picking up a gun - many times in petty grievances - picking up a gun solves nothing but causes so much lifelong pain," she said Wednesday. "I pray for you but I also pray that we find you and that we bring you to justice."
Both the mayor and police pleaded for anyone who may have information on the shooting to come forward.
"This cycle of violence in Chicago needs to end," Brown said. "It ends when someone who has been hurt doesn't reach for a gun. It ends when instead someone calls our detectives, gives them a tip that might break a case open so we can hold people accountable in the criminal justice system."
The shooting took place just hours after Lightfoot confirmed that federal agents are being sent to the city to help curb violence.
As for questions over whether or not more officers should have been sent to the scene prior to the shooting, Brown said it's "in the wrong direction just to focus on funerals."
"Our strategy is to grow our deployment, the number of officers, in a centralized way so that we will have resources deployed and not just to recover guns and make gun arrests," he said.