After at least nine people were shot in Washington Park Tuesday evening, two of them fatally, Chicago police tape littered the ground Wednesday.
The Chicago Police Department said their preliminary investigations show two groups of people engaged in a “personal altercation” in the park at about 7:45 p.m.
Both groups shot multiple times. Police initially reported that seven people had been shot, and one had died, but later reported that two more victims had self-transported to University of Chicago Medical Center in good condition.
A 19-year-old man who had been shot multiple times and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition died as well.
43-year-old man shot in back of head pronounced dead at University of Chicago Medical Center, according to police.
Khalil Denny and Lionel Coward were identified as the victims by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
As a result of the crime, Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey used the scene as a platform to speak out against violence. Community activists argued that Bailey was trying to promote a political agenda by seizing a moment of grief.
Acclivus, Inc.’s Bamani Obadele said, “Violence has become a public health crisis over the years.”.
Over the past few weeks, Acculvis, Inc., a non-profit organization, has organized baseball games in the park to unite the community. There was one last night.
Rainbow PUSH’s Rev. Janette Wilson explained that these are deprived communities. “They’re food deserts, deserts of employment, deserts of resources, their schools under-resourced and under-funded.”
Police reported that a 30-year-old man was shot in the left shin, a 39-year-old man was shot in the right ankle, a 27-year-old woman was shot in the upper left thigh, and a 22-year-old man was twice shot in the left elbow. University of Chicago Medical Center treated all four of them well.
Insight Hospital is treating a 19-year-old man who was shot in the upper right shoulder.
A 42-year-old man and 33-year-old woman suffered graze wounds.
Chicago Police Deputy Chief Fred Melean said it was “another tragic incident.”
Tuesday night’s performance of UniverSoul Circus did not take place at Washington Park.
The show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, according to the official website.
“The circus was not operating today, and this had nothing to do with it. If the circus had been operating, there would have been more security there,” Melean explained.
In response to a question about safety in Washington Park, another couple said that they believed that what happened was an isolated, targeted attack.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Chicago shooting leaves 9 shot, 2 fatally, in Washington Park WLS-TV
- Chicago police provide update on mass shooting at park FOX 32 Chicago
- Chicago shooting leaves 1 dead, 6 others injured after ‘altercation’ at park: police Fox News
- Darren Bailey uses shooting scene to press Pritzker on crime Chicago Tribune
- 2 dead, 7 wounded in Washington Park shooting, police say WGN News