A suspect is in custody after nine people were shot, two fatally, Thursday night in an incident that left bystanders scattering near a busy downtown Chicago intersection, police said.
Police received reports of two groups fighting around 10:40 p.m. near a train station at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and State Street on the city’s north side, Police Superintendent David Brown said at a news conference. on Friday. The station is located in a shopping center on State Street and just a few blocks from the city’s iconic shopping district, the Magnificent Mile.
As officers arrived and began to push through the crowd near a McDonald’s, gunfire erupted, Brown said. He said surveillance video of the shooting shows one person firing into the crowd, killing two people and wounding seven more.
The shooter fled with a group of people, heading toward the train station platform as officers gave chase, Brown said.
Officers then arrested the suspect, who was not identified during Friday’s news conference, pending charges, Brown said. He said the suspect was still armed as officers fled, and the gun was recovered from the scene.
Another person who police say tried to stop officers from arresting the suspected shooter was charged with obstruction, Brown said. Police have not identified a third person who they believe turned the gun over to the shooter, Brown added.
A woman, who Brown said was part of the fleeing group, was electrocuted and suffered a severe burn after falling onto the train tracks. She is in critical condition, Brown said.
5,100 CHILDREN SHOT, 1,300 DEAD:Armed violence affecting children explodes during COVID-19
All seven injured were hospitalized in serious or critical condition, Chicago Fire Department officials told the Chicago Sun-Times. Police initially reported that 10 people were shot.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene as bystanders fled gunfire and police officers scrambled to break up a fistfight that broke out between multiple people, the Sun-Times and NBC Chicago reported.
‘SENSELESS LOSS OF LIFE’:16-year-old teen fatally shot near popular tourist attraction ‘The Bean’ in Chicago
One witness, 18-year-old Deonna Jackson, told the Sun-Times that she ran away from the fight when it started.
“We get to July 11, we turn around and they start shooting, shooting like crazy,” Jackson said.
In a statement Friday morning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the shooting “an outrageous act of violence” and announced that the city will install a “fixed post” of police officers at the intersection.
“Area residents, travelers and others simply need to be reassured that this highly trafficked area is safe, and it is time to take more targeted and concrete steps to address this area once and for all,” he said.
Brown called the shooting part of a “gun crime crisis in our city,” and urged a stronger crackdown on illegal guns.
Dorval R. Carter, Jr., president of the Chicago Transit Authority, said at Friday’s news conference that CTA officials would continue to work closely with the Chicago Police Department to monitor the case.
“We are committed to addressing crime and safety concerns for both nearby residents and our passengers,” Carter said. “… Our stations will remain vigilant for reports of any suspicious activity.”
Contact News Now reporter Christine Fernando at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.