CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - A series of citywide shootings Sunday has left at least four people dead and 38 others wounded in just over 15 hours.
The spate of violence erupted just after midnight, and two people were killed and 28 others were hurt in shootings before 3 a.m.
Three or more victims have been wounded in seven of Sunday’s shooting incidents, including a single shooting in the South Side Gresham neighborhood left eight people wounded, including four teenage girls.
The eight people, who range in age from 14 to 35 years old, were standing in a courtyard about 12:40 a.m. in the 1300 block of West 76th Street when several males approached and opened fire, according to Chicago police. Their conditions were stabilized at various hospitals.
A 17-year-old girl was killed and five other people, including an 11-year-old boy, were wounded less than two hours later in a Lawndale neighborhood shooting on the Southwest Side, police said.
Several people were standing on a sidewalk about 2:35 p.m. in the 1300 block of South Millard Avenue when two males walked up and started shooting, police said.
The girl suffered a gunshot wound to her face and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Four other people wounded, one of them critically, and taken to hospitals for treatment.
Hours later, A 32-year-old man was killed and four other people were hurt in a shooting in the West Side Austin neighborhood.
The shooting happened about 6:50 a.m. in the first block of North Leclaire, police said. The people who were shot weren’t cooperating with investigators, and the circumstances of the shooting weren’t immediately known.
The man suffered gunshot wounds to his body and neck and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. Three other people were wounded, one of them critically, and treated at various hospitals.
As of 3:15 p.m., at least two other people had been killed and 25 more had been left wounded in Sunday shootings.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office didn’t immediately confirm the fatalities.
The series of shootings culminated in a chaotic scene Sunday morning at Stroger Hospital, where victims’ families and friends were blocked from entering the emergency room as the staff dealt with the influx of trauma patients.
ABC-7 reported that the hospital could be placed on lockdown due to the amount of trauma patients, citing a police source. But spokespeople for the hospital and CPD later dismissed reports of a potential lockdown.
“Over the past 24 hours, Stroger’s trauma unit received an unusually high volume of patients,” said Caitlin Polochak, the hospital’s communications manager. “At no time did Stroger go on bypass or ‘lockdown’ its trauma unit.”
“We are asking the families of trauma patients to limit visitation at this time to immediate family members only so staff may focus on patient care,” Polochak added.
As a result, several dozen people waited outside the emergency room Sunday morning. The sounds of crying, wailing and yelling could be heard every few minutes.
“This is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said one law enforcement officer outside the emergency room who’s seen similar scenes play out over two decades.
“It’s hot right now. There’s a lot of tension,” said the officer, who asked not to be named. “And it might get worse because you can hear people talking about revenge, saying on their cell phones ‘I know know who did it. You get him.’”