A 14-year-old boy was killed and 17 people were injured in three mass shootings in Chicago on Wednesday, police said.
The first two shootings happened within minutes and blocks of each other in the city's North Lawndale neighborhood after 6 p.m., Area 4 Deputy Police Chief Ernest Cato said during a news conference.
The 14-year-old was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital after being struck in the head in the first shooting, which left a 16-year-old in grave condition, according to police. The wounded teen was also shot in the head, Cato said. A 22-year-old man and two 24-year-old men injured in the shooting near the intersection of 13th Street and Christiana Avenue, were stable.
Multiple suspects then opened fire on a second scene, shooting four teens and a 22-year-old man near the intersection of Douglas Boulevard and Ridgeway Avenue. They were taken to hospitals, where they were listed in good condition, police said.
Nearly six hours later, a dark gray Jeep Grand Cherokee opened fire on a party bus in the 1600 block of North LaSalle Drive in the city's Lincoln Park neighborhood, according to authorities. Eight people between the ages of 23 and 52 years old were wounded, but investigators said they don't know if they were inside or outside of the bus when they were shot.
One of the victims was listed in critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was dropped off after being shot in the chest. Police described him as a 27-year-old man.
While a 24-year-old man shot in the arm and a 26-year-old woman shot in the leg had serious injuries, the remaining victims were in good or fair condition at area hospitals.
No one is in custody in connection with the party bus shooting. It was unclear Thursday if arrests had been made in the first two incidents.
While Chicago has seen fewer violent crimes like aggravated batteries, robberies and sexual assaults, homicides so far this year have risen 33 percent compared to the same time period in 2019.
Shootings have risen by 59 percent since the first half of 2019, the most recent comparable period since the pandemic began.
The Justice Department this week is launching an effort in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., to reduce surging gun violence by addressing illegal trafficking and prosecuting offenses that help put guns in the hands of criminals.
Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to travel to Chicago, where he was raised, Thursday to kick off the initiative.