UPDATE: 2 dead after 7 shot Brighton Park shooting. pic.twitter.com/pC557bTKuN
— Chris Hush (@ChrisHushNBC) May 8, 2017
Early Sunday morning, 26-year-old Daniel Cardova was fatally gunned down in the Brighton Park neighborhood in Chicago’s South Side by two people carrying rifles in what Chicago police First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro called “a gang-related murder.”
Later that afternoon, a small crowd gathered for a makeshift vigil honoring Cardova. They brought liquor bottles, candles and a heart-shaped balloon to build a memorial to the young man, the Chicago Tribune reported.
But the violence didn’t stop.
Bullets ripped through the vigil crowd at roughly 5:20 p.m., injuring eight and killing two. One of the deceased was a man in his mid-20s, and the other a woman of unknown age, police told the Chicago Tribune.
Other victims ranged in age from 18 to 31 years old. Four were reported to be in serious condition as of early Monday morning.
Details about the shooting are scant at this time.
Navarro called the incident “another brazen act of gang violence in the streets of Chicago” during a news conference Sunday evening.
“The people shot were participating in a memorial for a subject that was murdered earlier in the day, and during this memorial, two subjects came out of an alley east of the location … and opened fire with rifles,” Navarro said.
Killings at vigils or remembrances for others killed are nothing new in Chicago, where gun violence and particularly gang-related gun violence is spiraling out of control.
In January, seven mourners for a woman killed near a grade school, including a 12-year-old boy, were shot.
Last March, a 12-year-old boy who spoke out on a video against the violence roiling Chicago was struck and critically injured by a stray bullet while walking home after playing basketball.
In September 2016, an 18-year-old woman was shot and killed and two teen boys wounded at a vigil for another man who had been murdered earlier. The month before, an 8-year-old girl was shot in the arm while attending a vigil for a 14-year-old friend shot earlier.
Of the latest shootings, Deputy Chief Kevin Ryan said police “have a fairly good idea who we’re looking for,” adding that they were “flooding the area.”
“We have a fairly good idea of the conflict involved and where we need to be deployed,” he said. “And right now we’re trying to saturate the area to make sure nothing else happens tonight or in the next couple days.”
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter the incident is “believed to be a gang related retaliation for” the earlier shooting.
Shooting – 2629 W. 45TH . Dep Supt Navarro responding. Incident believed to be a gang related retaliation for early shooting in Brighton Pk
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) May 8, 2017
Fifteenth Ward Alderman Ray Lopez used the news conference to discuss Chicago’s high murder rate. Lopez mentioned the two police officers were shot with high-powered rifles on Tuesday in the neighboring Back of the Yards neighborhood. (Police said the shootings do appear to be connected.)
“This is the second time in a week we’re here tonight talking about assault weapons being used in our communities,” Lopez said. “Last week, we’ve seen assault rifles used on police. Today, they’re used on gang members in the Brighton Park community in broad daylight — on a Sunday, on a day when everyone should have been at home, doing gardening, enjoying each other’s company.”
“The wake-up call has been here and it’s time for us to act,” Lopez added. “We must stand together to put an end to this nonsense in our neighborhoods.”
— Chris Hush (@ChrisHushNBC) May 7, 2017
“I am thankful that today no innocent lives were lost, no children were shot, no police officers will shot, but that will not always be the case so long as we continue to harbor these kind of criminals in our communities,” Lopez also said.
When later asked by reporters about the statement “no innocent victims,” Ryan would only confirm that the victims were associated with the vigil, not necessarily any gang activity.