As many as 40 shots were fired Sunday when a gunman using an assault weapon opened fire outside a church in Chicago, killing at least one person, police said.
The shooting happened just before 2 p.m. Sunday in the 1700 block of West 46th Street in the city's Back of the Yards neighborhood, according to authorities.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the victim was walking in front of Holy Cross Church when a gunman jumped out of a car and shot him with an assault weapon, unleashing at least 40 rounds.
The victim, identified by family friends and the Cook County Medical Examiner's office as 21-year-old Salvador Suarez, was killed and pronounced dead at the scene.
"He had just called and asked me to make spaghetti, his favorite, and 20 minutes later, he's gone," said close family friend Sharon Bolsega.
The shooting occurred at the intersection of South Hermitage Avenue and West 46th Street, where both Holy Cross Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and William Seward Communication Arts Academy are located.
In a statement Monday, Archbishop Blase Cupich said Suarez was killed about 20 feet from the doors of Holy Cross Church as a 1 p.m. mass was being held. He added that Suarez "was killed with a high-powered semi-automatic assault rifle—not unlike the weapon of war used to murder 49 people in Orlando."
"This terrible violence is destroying not only those killed and wounded, but all of us," Cupich said. "If we want to survive as a community that treasures life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we must act now to put an end to this carnage. No doubt there are many causes, but we can start by getting these combat weapons off our streets. Not to act only gives in to the despairing falsehood that there is nothing we can do, which means that violence wins. This is a responsibility that belongs to all of us as citizens, especially to our elected officials. Let them hear our voices. Let us demand action today. Doing nothing is no longer an option."
Just a few days earlier, 15th Ward Alderman Ray Lopez told NBC 5 he heard dozens of gunshots just three blocks north of Sunday's shooting.
“We heard 40 shots ring out from what I believe was a semi-automatic weapon of some caliber,” Lopez said of the gunfire that happened around 2 p.m. Wednesday in the 4300 block of South Marshfield.
While no one was injured in Wednesday's shooting, at the time, Lopez said he feared the worst when it came to the style of weapon used in that incident.
“We could have had our own mini massacre right here in Chicago,” he said.
Guglielmi said the bullets from Sunday's shooting appeared similar to those fired Wednesday, and authorities believe Suarez was the intended target, the victim of a dispute between two gangs.
"The victim is not a documented gang member, we know he is an associate of a gang," said Supt. Eddie Johnson. "We are working that case diligently, trying to bring it to a resolution."
No one was in custody for Sunday's shooting death as of Monday evening, according to police, and Area Central detectives are investigating.