(CHICAGO) — At least five men were shot, three fatally, early Sunday when gunfire erupted at a Chicago intersection taken over by a drag-racing caravan of more than 100 cars, police said.
The shooting erupted about 4 a.m. at an intersection in the Brighton Park neighborhood on the city’s Southwest side, Cmdr. Don Jerome of the Chicago Police Department said at a news conference.
The gun violence in the nation’s third largest city erupted despite a 20% drop in shootings in Chicago through the end of summer, according to Chicago police crime statistics. Homicides have also plummeted 16% from last year.
Jerome said police officers were responding to complaints of a drag-racing caravan in the area with cars peeling rubber and doing doughnuts in the middle of an intersection.
“There was drifting in the middle of the street and approximately 100 cars had gained control of the intersection,” Jerome said.
He said officers at one of the police departments Strategic Decision Support Centers were monitoring the incident via a live video feed when they received a ShotSpotter gunshot detection alert of at least 13 shots at the intersection and “people hitting the ground.”
Upon arriving at the scene, officers learned that five people had been shot and were all taken to hospitals in private vehicles.
Jerome said four men with gunshot wounds were taken to Holy Cross Hospital and one was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.
He said three men were pronounced dead upon arriving at a hospital, and two other men were in serious condition, but expected to survive.
Two 20-year-old men were among those who died, police said. Authorities did not release the age of the third man fatally shot. Their names were not immediately released.
The two men who were wounded were described as a 19-year-old and a 21-year-old.
Investigators recovered multiple shell casings from the crime scene, suggesting that more than one gunman was involved, Jerome said.
No arrests were immediately announced. Jerome said police are investigating if some of the people who were wounded or killed were armed and fired shots during the incident.
“All three of the decedents did have a gang affiliation,” Jerome said.
He said police are searching for “one or two” people police suspect were involved in the shooting, adding, they “are not necessarily those in the hospital.”
Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez, who represents the area where the shooting occurred, called for a police crackdown on the roving drag-racing caravans.
“This is not just fun and games on the street,” Lopez said at Sunday’s news conference with Jerome. “We are seeing gangs and criminality join into the drifting and drag-racing.”
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