Rifle-Toting Chicago Gang Members Kill 2 At Memorial For Slain Man

Gunmen opened fire on a group of mourners gathered for an impromptu memorial service on Chicago’s southwest side, killing two and wounding another eight on a violent Sunday in the gang-plagued city.

Chicago police First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro told reporters that gang members used rifles to shoot into the crowd of Brighton Park residents, who were taking part in a memorial for a neighbor who had been killed nearby only 12 hours earlier. He called the attack “another brazen act of gang violence” and the third reported rifle shooting in a week, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The shooting occurred around 5:20 p.m. Sunday evening, according to witness reports. A 25-year-old man was pronounced dead on the scene, and a 29-year-old woman died of her wounds at Stroger Hospital, officials said.

Police confirmed late Sunday night that a total of eight other people were wounded in the attack. All of the victims were taken to local hospitals and remain in good condition, police said.

The shooting highlights a worrying trend in gang violence on Chicago’s southwest side, where gang members are increasingly using long guns such as AK- 47 and AR-15 style rifles in their skirmishes. Between the summer of 2016 and February, more than 30 shootings using semi-automatic rifles occurred in Brighton Park and neighboring Back of the Yards, the Tribune reports.

Multiple assailants used handguns and at least one AR-style rifle to ambush a pair of plainclothes police detectives on Tuesday, riddling their unmarked police van with dozens of rounds before fleeing the scene. Police said the incident doesn’t appear to be connected to Sunday’s shooting in Brighton Park. (Chicago Police: La Raza Gang Members Shot Officers With AR-Style Rifle)

Alderman Raymond Lopez, who represents the ward where the attack on the memorial took place, said local residents must work together to combat the worsening violence in the area.

“The wakeup call has been here. It’s time to act,” he said Sunday. “It’s time for each and every one of us to start looking at what’s going on on our block, identifying who is a gang member who’s selling drugs and who is supporting them in our communities.”

In addition to the Brighton Park shootings, five other people were shot Sunday in four separate incidents on the city’s south and west sides, the Tribune reported.

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