CHICAGO – Fifteen people were shot Tuesday evening in a retaliatory attack at a funeral for a rival gang member on the city's South Side, police said.
The incident was the city's largest mass shooting in recent memory. One of the victims was in "extremely critical condition" Wednesday morning, and one was in critical condition, Police Superintendent David Brown said. Doctors believed the other 13 victims would recover.
At around 6:30 p.m., a stolen black vehicle sped through the Gresham neighborhood and opened fire at the funeral, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said Wednesday morning at a press conference. Attendees of the funeral exchanged fire with people inside the vehicle, he said.
The people inside the car kept shooting at funeral attendees even after the car turned away. Eventually, the car crashed "midway down the block," Chicago police First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter said.
"The occupants of the vehicle then exited in multiple directions and fled," Carter said. He added there's a person of interest being interviewed by detectives.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot: Chicago won't see 'Portland-style deployment' of federal agents
The Chicago Fire Department took most of the victims – all adults in serious condition –to area hospitals, said spokesman Larry Langford. Police found 60 shell casings at the scene and the number of shooters — between those in the vehicle and the funeral attendees — was unknown, Carter said.
Ten of the victims were women ages 21 to 65, and one of the women was shot in the chest, police said. The 65-year-old woman was treated at the scene. One man was shot in the chest, arm and forearm while two other male victims, 22 and 32, were shot in their hands, police said.
The person of interest wasn't injured, Carter told reporters. He said it's unclear if all the victims had been attending the funeral.
Police said the funeral was held for a man killed in a drive-by shooting last week in the Englewood neighborhood.
The man had a gang affiliation, Brown said, and police had dispatched two squad cars and a tactical team to the area of the funeral, as is protocol for the funerals of people with gang affiliations.
"The cycle of violence in Chicago – someone gets shot, which prompts someone else to pick up a gun – this cycle repeats itself over and over and over," Brown said. "This cycle is fueled by street gangs, guns and drugs."
There are more than 117,000 gang members in Chicago, Brown said, with 55 major gangs, that are broken down into 747 factions and 2,500 subsets of factions. Every day, there are hundreds of gang conflicts in the city.
Brown said he was directing officers to "redouble our efforts to recover even more guns, to make even more arrests" in larger, centralized deployment strategy.
Hours after the Gresham shootings, a 3-year-old child was shot in the head several miles away. The child was sitting in the backseat of a car at a gas station when her father got into an altercation with another person at the station, police said.
The child – just one of the dozens of children shot in Chicago in recent weeks, some fatally – was "in stable condition and talking" Wednesday morning, Brown said.
Looking somber Wednesday morning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot "implored" residents with information about the shootings to come forward through the city's anonymous tip line.
She said the violence was a product of a lack of opportunities for young men in the city.
"Violence is a symptom, a symptom of communities that are crying out – young men who don’t believe that they have a future ... who believe that their future only lies on a corner and not college or career," she said.
Chicago Ald. David Moore, an Englewood resident, and the Rev. Ira Acree, a West Side pastor and community leader, called on the city Wednesday morning to strengthen its witness protection program so that witnesses would feel more comfortable coming forward with information about the shootings.
The shootings came on the same day city Lightfoot said she expects the Trump administration to deploy federal agents to Chicago. Those agents, she said, will be from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Contributing: Ryan Miller, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Shooting at Chicago funeral leaves 15 injured, 1 in custody