An argument in a house on Chicago's South Side early Tuesday erupted into gunfire, leaving four people dead and four other people injured, police said. The shooting happened at 5:42 a.m. in the city's Englewood neighborhood, police said, and no arrests were immediately made.
Police had few details about the victims, but it appeared that none of them were juveniles. Chicago Police superintendent David Brown said three of the dead were women and one was a man, reports CBS Chicago.
Brown said gunshots were reported around 2 a.m. in the same area, and a witness told police they heard more gunshots around 5:45 a.m., the station reports. Brown said he's not sure what happened in the interim. A high capacity magazine and several shell casings were found inside the house, but no weapon was recovered, he said. Brown said there was no indication of loud music or a party at the home, and there was no sign of forced entry, the station reports.
Detectives were still trying to determine if there was more than one shooter and that they were still trying to find witnesses, police spokesman Tom Ahern said. A young child was removed safely from the house and placed in protective custody, he said.
The shooting comes a few days after a woman was killed and nine other people were injured when two men opened fire on a group standing on a sidewalk on Chicago's South Side. Police said that no arrests have been made in that shooting, which was among mass shootings over the weekend in three states that stoked concerns that a spike in U.S. gun violence could continue into summer as coronavirus restrictions ease and more people are free to socialize.
A database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks mass killings — defined as four or more dead, not including the perpetrator — shows Tuesday's shooting in Chicago is the 18th mass killing, of which 17 were shootings, so far this year in the U.S.
The shooting happened in Englewood, which has long been one of the most violent communities in Chicago. It comes as the city is experiencing more homicides this year compared with the same period last year. There were 282 homicides in Chicago as of June 13, compared with 269 for the same period last year.
Law officers had hoped that survey of law enforcement agencies in dozens of U.S. cities conducted by the Major Cities Chiefs Association found a higher rate of homicides and aggravated assaults in January through March of 2021 compared to the same time period in 2020.last year would subside, but they remain higher than they were in pre-pandemic times. Although official data has yet to be released by the federal government, a
Criminologists who study the trends say the recent increases haven't upended the decades-long crime decline in the U.S., but say it's cause for concern. Analyses conducted by the Council on Criminal Justice have found that a "perfect storm" of factors may have contributed to a rise in homicides in 2020 that has continued into 2021. Those factors may include societal inequities exacerbated by the, strains on gun violence intervention programs and a fraught relationship between police and communities, researchers say.
Later in the morning at an unrelated press conference, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city needs federal to help combat violence and said that the White House on Tuesday morning had reached out to offer assistance.
"We must acknowledge this for what it is — a tragedy that's ripped apart families and inflicted intense trauma," Lightfoot said.
Identities and the ages of the dead women weren't immediately released.
The four injured in Tuesday morning's shooting included a 25-year-old man who was shot in the back of the head and another man who was shot in the back of the head. Their conditions were unknown, according to police. A 23-year-old man who was shot in the back and a woman who suffered an unspecified gunshot wound were both in critical condition, police said.