'The community is devastated': 4 dead, 4 injured in shooting at Chicago home

CHICAGO – Four people are dead and four others are injured after an argument broke out and gunshots were fired at a Chicago home early Tuesday morning, according to police.

The shooting happened just before 6 a.m. in the Englewood neighborhood on the city's South Side, police said. Detectives were investigating what led to the shooting. So far, no one has been taken into custody.

Three of the people killed were women, and the fourth was a man, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said in a news conference Tuesday. Officials did not identify the victims.

No juveniles were killed, but an uninjured 2-year-old girl was taken to the hospital "out of an abundance of caution," police said.

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Crime scene tape hangs outside a house where multiple people were shot, some fatally, inside the Englewood building, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Chicago.

A 23-year-old man and a woman, her age unclear, were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition, police said. A 25-year-old man and a 41-year-old man were taken to Christ Hospital in unknown condition, police said.

"We must acknowledge this for what it is – a tragedy that has ripped apart families and inflicted intense trauma on several individuals," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a press conference. "It tells us that we still have much work to do to end gun violence here in Chicago and, in particular, to limit the access of individuals to illegal guns."

Lightfoot said the Biden administration reached out to the city Tuesday in the wake of the shooting.

"We are trying to remain hopeful amid this tragedy," said Asiaha Butler, a peace activist and president of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood, a grassroots organization aimed at connecting and uplifting the community.

Dozens of people were out on the sidewalks near the scene of the shooting Tuesday morning, trying to find out more about what happened, community activist Andrew Holmes said. Many people hadn't heard from their loved ones, and some were going to area hospitals to see if they could get identifications, Holmes said.

A woman crying  is escorted by community activists, including Andrew Holmes, left,, to a vehicle after she tried to cross police tape at the scene of a shooting outside a home in Chicago, Tuesday, June 15, 2021.  Police say an argument at a house on Chicago's South Side erupted in fatal gunfire, leaving some dead and others injured.

Pastor Donovan Price, a victim advocate who goes to the scenes of shootings in the city to offer prayers, said he met a boy whose mother had been killed.

"He would just stand there and cry. We prayed," Price said. "The community is devastated. It’s just a tragic, tragic day."

Price said he has offered prayers at the scenes of three mass shootings in the past ten days. Eight people were shot in the early hours of June 6 in the city's Burnside neighborhood. Early Saturday, one woman was killed and nine others were injured in the Chatham neighborhood when two men opened fire on the sidewalk.

"I feel broken inside," Price said.

People watch as officials remove four bodies from a house on South Morgan Street in Chicago's South Side on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

Gun violence rose in Chicagoand nationwide – last year amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's on the rise again this year.

More than 1,600 people have been shot in Chicago so far in 2021 – a 19% increase from the same time period last year, according to city data. More than 260 people have died from gunshot wounds. Compared to two years ago, the number of shootings is up 56%, according to police data.

Gun violence in Chicago disproportionately affects people living in low-income neighborhoods on the city's South and West Sides, where grocery stores and pharmacies are in short supply. More than 80% of the shooting victims this year are Black, according to city data.

"What we’re seeing here in Chicago is not unique to Chicago. We’re seeing this surge in gun violence all across the country," Lightfoot said. "The reality is, this is a national problem, and it needs a national solution."

Nationwide, there have been more than 274 mass shootings – defined as four or more people shot or killed, not including the shooter – so far in 2021, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that monitors media and police reports.

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A woman  receives a hug from a supporter outside the scene of a shooting outside a home in Chicago, Tuesday, June 15, 2021.   Police say an argument at a house on Chicago's South Side erupted in fatal gunfire, leaving some dead and others injured.

Austin, Texas, and Savannah, Georgia, also saw mass shootings over the weekend. Lightfoot said she has been in touch with the mayor of Austin.

"We are part of a club of cities to which no one wants to belong – cities with mass shootings," she said.

The shooting in Chicago on Tuesday was the 18th mass killing – defined as four or more dead, not including the perpetrator – so far this year, according to a USA TODAY/Associated Press/Northeastern University database. Seventeen were shootings.

Last summer, in Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood, 15 people were shot at a funeral in what was the city's largest shooting in recent memory.

After visiting with grieving family and friends in the Englewood neighborhood Tuesday morning, Price, the pastor, said he traveled north to the scene of a shooting in the Bronzeville neighborhood, where a 21-year-old woman had been found in an alley with a gunshot wound to the head, according to police.

Far from the crowd of cameras and politicians further south, Price said he and the investigating officers were alone with the woman. So he prayed for her, cried and left.

"Right now, for me, I got some French fries and a Coca Cola and I’m going to try to put myself back together," Price said. "I’ll get through the next 30 seconds, and then I’ll decide how to get through the next 30 seconds after that."

Follow Breaking News Reporter Grace Hauck on Twitter at @grace_hauck.

Four investigators with Cook County Medical Examiner's office walk away from the home in the 6200 block of South Morgan, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Chicago.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chicago mass shooting: 4 dead, 4 injured in Englewood, police say