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Reward offered after seven men struck in mass shooting in South Chicago

Seven men wounded in mass shooting in South Chicago 02:46

CHICAGO (CBS) --  Police returned to the scene of a mass shooting in which seven men were struck and wounded Sunday afternoon in South Chicago.

Authorities are offering a substantial reward for information leading to charges and convictions. Police were handing out flyers and interviewing people are businesses in the strip mall where the shooting happened at 79th Street and Exchange Avenue in broad daylight at 3:40 p.m.

The mall that includes a liquor store and a Little Caesars pizza, among other businesses. 

Police Supt. David Brown said the seven victims – who were all together in one group – were standing near the Little Caesars when two cars went by, and someone in one of the cars started talking with the group.

Almost immediately afterward, someone fired shots toward the group and wounded seven people. Police said up to 60 rounds were fired.

The victims ranged in age from their late 20s to their 50s, officials said.

As of Monday morning, two people remain in critical condition.   

Police said a 63-year-old man, a 62-year-old man, a 59-year-old man, and a 36-year-old man were each shot in the leg and were reported in good condition. The oldest man was taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, the 62- and 59-year-old men were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, and the 36-year-old man was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

A 51-year-old man was shot in the hip and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition.

A 34-year-old man was shot in the chest and a 31-year-old man was shot in the abdomen. Both were taken to the U of C Medical Center in critical condition.

Earlier information indicating that a person died in connection with the shooting was not correct.

Police Supt. David Brown's update on South Chicago mass shooting 04:23

It is not known whether the shooter or shooters targeted the group, or if there was a fight during the conversation that led to the shooting. It also was not clear whether one or both of the cars were involved.

CBS 2's Shardaa Gray talked to some neighbors who did not want to go on camera for fear of retaliation. They told her at they heard least 10 rounds fired from what sounded like an AK rifle.

The Star Sub restaurant at the back of the strip mall was shot up, and at least 10 shell casings were seen in the street nearby.

"Whether it was a targeted shooting or an altercation, it's unacceptable," Supt. Brown said, "and we're going to put all of our efforts forward to solve this shooting and bring those to justice that were involved."

Meanwhile outside the U of C Medical Center, CBS 2's Sabrina Franza talked with Derrick Swift, the brother of one of the men who was shot.

"I'm not going to be fully out of it until I know – until I literally hear my brother's voice, and he tells me himself that he's OK," Swift said.

Swift said he had just dropped his younger brother off at the store.

"I really think it was my fault, because I could have kept him in the car with me instead of dropping him off at the house," he said.

Swift heard about the shooting and turned his car right around to go back.

"I jumped in the car and went up there - seen a couple of people laying on the ground," he said. "Didn't see my brother."

But the news turned out to be grim.

"Looked up, and my little brother was hit in his chest," Swift said. "Only thing I can do how is leave it up to the man upstairs."

Swift's brother was in surgery Sunday night and is expected to recover. Swift said what he really wants now is "to tell my brother I love him."

Neighbors told Gray they often hear gunshots and witness violence in the area regularly – and it is getting worse with temperatures rising.

Barb Thompson lives not too far from the area. She said she heard about the shooting and wanted to come out and say a prayer, but she also said the violence has to come to an end.

"But now these people are shooting – and they don't even aim for the people they want to shoot at. Innocent people are getting killed. How many kids are going to get killed before they even go to eighth or twelfth grade?" Thompson said. "So I have a passion for my neighborhood."

Late Sunday afternoon, police were reviewing video evidence and talking to witnesses. Investigators were also waiting to interview victims, and asked anyone with information to come forward.

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