At least three men were injured in a shooting outside a Chicago church as friends and loved ones were leaving a funeral service, officials said.
At a news conference a church official said the count for those struck or injured could reach five because it’s possible some victims may have used private vehicles to seek medical aid.
The service was for a gang interventionist, mentioned only by his nickname, who was well known in the Roseland community, said an official of the Universal Community Missionary Baptist Church, where the violence took place.
Chicago police said the known victims, all men ages 20, 25, and 37, were hospitalized in good condition. But police later said one of the three was in serious-to-critical condition, another in fair-to-serious condition, and the third in good-to-serious condition.
Someone in a gray sedan opened fire as the victims stood outside the church, police said. No one was in custody and motive was under investigation.
Pastor Donovan Price, executive director of Chicago-based crisis intervention group Solutions and Resources, said at a news conference that those struck Saturday may be related to the subject of the funeral service.
He said the interventionist memorialized Saturday, whom he identified only as “Big Mike,” was “known for doing good, known for positivity.”
Chicago has continued this summer to grapple with its well-known and relatively high number of shootings, a deadly problem that has led political pundits to blame the city’s predominant political affiliation — the Democratic Party.
Defenders of the city’s leadership have said violence is a disease that needs steadfast intervention to break cycles of revenge shootings often associated with gangs but which take place more outside of them than inside of them.