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15 people wounded in shooting at Chicago funeral home

Fifteen people were wounded in a shooting at a funeral home in Chicago on Tuesday, police said. A person of interest was being interviewed by law enforcement, but there are multiple suspects, according to the police.

Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter said a black vehicle approached a funeral home in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood where a memorial service was taking place when people in the vehicle began firing. 

Funeral attendees fired back and the vehicle drove away as its occupants continued firing. The vehicle crashed about halfway up the block and the occupants got out and fled in multiple directions, Carter said. At least 60 shell casings were recovered from the scene.

The funeral was for Donnie Weathersby, who was shot and killed on July 14, CBS Chicago's Charlie De Mar reports. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Wednesday that Weathersby was killed in a drive-by shooting, leading police to treat his funeral as a potential gang target.

Chicago Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said Weathersby's shooting was due to a "gang conflict," and that an investigation found that his murder was "related to a prior shooting and murder incident."  

"A drive-by shooting in Chicago more than likely always leads to some kind of retaliation," Brown said. 

"It's about revenge, the cycle of revenge, the cycle of retaliation that fuels our shootings and murders."

He said there are "several hundred gang conflicts" in Chicago on a daily basis. "This is about gangs, guns, and drugs. No doubt."

The fire department told CBS Chicago at least nine of the victims were in serious to critical condition. All the victims are adults, Carter said. It was unclear how many were from the funeral and how many were in the vehicle.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot pleaded for an end to the "senseless violence."

"To the cowards behind these shootings, we have to ask you to find your humanity," she said at the press conference. "Picking up a gun, that solves nothing, but causes so much lifelong pain."

At least one victim was apparently an innocent bystander. Family members at a hospital told CBS Chicago she lives next to the funeral home and was outside for a cigarette break and got caught in the gunfire. She was fighting for her life Tuesday night, her relatives said.

At the funeral home, a woman with blood on her jeans told CBS Chicago she didn't know whose blood it was. Sources told CBS Chicago the shooting was a planned ambush outside the funeral home. 

Sources told CBS Chicago's Brad Edwards the police were warned there might be a retaliatory attack on the funeral service. Carter said a squad car had been assigned to the funeral because of its size.

City officials said Wednesday that two squad cars were assigned to the funeral and a tactical team was in the area, but no officers were injured during the shooting. Brown said the police response was typical for any funeral believed to have a gang connection.

There is video surveillance of the incident, as well as several witnesses, according to officials. Lightfoot stressed that community members with information are asked to come forward. 

"Anyone with information I implore you not to be silent at this moment," she said at Wednesday's press conference. "If we are silent, the violence will continue."

In a series of tweets, Lightfoot called the shooting "horrific" and the shooters "cowardly," saying, "We cannot give shelter to killers. People know who are responsible."

"When a person picks up a gun, we suffer as a city. This cannot be who we are," Lightfoot said.

The shooting came on the heels of President Trump offering a reported 175 federal agents to come to Chicago to help deal with the city's ongoing gun violence. Sources told CBS Chicago those agents had already arrived in Chicago Tuesday night.

Some law enforcement personnel in military fatigues were spotted at the scene of the shooting, but it wasn't known whether they were federal agents.

Alderman David Moore called the recent uptick in violence a "national issue" and urged the federal government and private sector to invest in these communities. 

"We're triaging, and we're triaging as best as we can," he said. 

Audrey McNamara and Brian Dakss contributed to this report. 

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