Two were killed, eight injured outside a fast-food outlet near Magnificent Mile shopping district in Chicago
Two people were killed and at least eight were wounded in Chicago's latest mass shooting, this one erupting when a fight escalated outside a McDonald's fast-food outlet.
The shooting occurred around 10:40 pm local time on Thursday near Chicago Avenue and State Street, just a few blocks from the Windy City's posh Magnificent Mile shopping district, according to police. Paramedics were seen wheeling stretcher after stretcher under police tape at the scene of the bloodshed, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The wounded were listed in serious to critical condition at local hospitals.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the shooting "an outrageous act of violence" and said she had ordered police to set up fixed posts of uniformed officers at the busy intersection where Thursday night's incident occurred and at the nearby Red Line subway station.
"Area residents, commuters and others must simply have the peace of mind that this highly trafficked area is safe, and it is time for more specific, concrete steps to be taken to address this area once and for all," Lightfoot said. She added, "It is simply awful and unacceptable that once again, another tragedy occurs because firearms are in the hands of people who simply do not care about themselves or the value of another's life."
Shootings in Chicago have jumped 66% in the past two years, reaching nearly 10 per day in 2021. There were nearly 800 homicides in the city last year, the highest total in a quarter century. Gun violence is even worse so far this year in downtown Chicago. Shootings have surged by 225% in the 18th District, which includes the McDonald's where Thursday night's mass-casualty incident occurred.
Police said one suspect from the latest mass shooting is in custody, and a handgun was recovered at the scene. Neither the alleged shooter nor the victims were identified. Authorities also haven't listed the ages of the victims, but comments by witnesses to the Sun-Times suggest that they were young adults or teenagers.
"When the fight first started, we were right next to them," an 18-year-old woman told the newspaper. "We had to run because I didn't want anyone to swing on me." She added that after fleeing to a nearby convenience store, "we turn around, and they just get to shooting, to shooting like crazy."
Another bystander told the Sun-Times that family members of the victims were having difficulties getting information from police and hospitals. "These victims have mothers," he said.
As officers responded to the shooting scene and blocked off streets around the McDonald's, they had to break up more fights among onlookers in the crowd. A window at the restaurant was reportedly shattered during the shooting.
About 40 minutes after the McDonald's shooting, two men shot each other in a gunfight less than a mile away, police said. The men, aged 29 and 32, opened fire after quarreling. Both were hospitalized with their injuries.