At least six people were shot as they left the funeral service for a Chicago rapper who had been shot and killed earlier this month.
Police said that there were no fatalities.
The shooting on Oct. 22 outside a church in Burnside, Chicago, was described by the pastor as “pandemonium.”
People were emerging from Bethlehem Star Church at around 12:40 p.m. following the funeral of a local rapper Vantrease Criss, who is also known as “Dooskie The Man,” who was killed on Oct. 9.
As they left the church and got into their cars, eyewitnesses reported multiple shots.
The Fire Department was called because a bullet had hit a gas line.
Pastor Roosevelt Watkins told ABC7 he was at the back of the church when the shooting began.
“It was pandemonium. People ducking under cars, running for their lives, for safety, running back inside of the church, trying to get out of harm’s way,” he said.
‘Sounded Like Canon Fire’
Ruth Rivera, who lives nearby, told ABC7 it sounded like “at least 40-50 gunshots from our backyard. And we came right away, there was gun shellings back here, there was blood on the floor. Right away the ambulance and the police came, immediately.”
One man who heard the shooting from inside his home told The Sun Times the shooting was “rapid fire” at first, then “sounded like cannon fire.” The man, who asked to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, has lived within a block of the church for more than 15 years.
“Early reports indicate the shooting allegedly occurred outside of a funeral home as the services ended and people were getting in their cars,” said a statement from the Police Department.
A Task Force For Funeral Shootings
“While victims are still reporting to area hospitals, Chicago Police have not reported any fatalities in connection with the funeral shooting at 92nd and Cottage Grove,” said a police department statement on Twitter at around 3 p.m on Oct 22. “Detectives are on scene, interviewing individuals, canvassing for video and working on victim profiles.”
The most seriously wounded victim was shot in the head, but was able to speak to authorities while being treated, according to ABC7. He was also a rapper.
Criss, was shot in the head on South Michigan Avenue on Oct. 9, according to the Sun Times. The 25-year-old was pronounced dead at a local hospital half an hour later.
A woman who was caught in the foot by a bullet in that shooting said that the bullets may have come from a passing vehicle.
A local task force was recently created to tackle the growing problem of shootings at funerals: Cook County Funeral and Cemetery Violence Task Force.
It includes members of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, Chicago Police, the state’s attorney’s office, and various owners of cemeteries and funeral homes.