One man is dead and six others injured after four male gunmen opened fire on a group of people gathered around a park bench in East Garfield Park in Chicago at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday night. Six of the victims were taken to Stroger Hospital for treatment. The other was treated at Mt. Sinai Hospital. The deceased victim was one of the six at Stroger. The Chicago Tribune says that police reported finding 48 shell casings at the scene. The Black Souls and Gangster Disciples gangs are known to be at odds in the area.
The man who died at Stroger was 30-years-old and died of a head wound. The other victims who went to Stroger included another 30-year-old man with a leg wound who is in stable condition, a 33-year-old man shot in the back and lower backside who is in serious condition, a 22-year-old man who was shot in the chest and is in critical condition, a 31-year-man who was shot in the face and is in serious condition, and a 47-year-old man with unknown injuries who is in critical condition. The man who was treated at Mt. Sinai Hospital is 26-years-old. He suffered leg and arm wounds and is in stable condition.
Alexander Rucker’s son was one of the shooting victims. He said his son works as a hospital transportation supervisor and has wounds in his chest and leg. His son told him he was walking to the park when he was shot. Alexander Rucker left his phone at home when he went out to an event put on by the Masonic home in Arlington Heights Saturday night because the battery had died. He decided to go out with friends after that even and returned home to over 30 calls and lots of text messages. Rucker says he knew something was wrong when he read a text from a cousin that said she loved him and his son. He drove to the hospital about 2 a.m., as soon as he figured out which hospital he had been taken to.
Bill Curry is an anti-violence worker who lives near the crime scene. He and his wife were inside their home when they heard dozens of rapid-fire gunshots. When he looked out his window, he saw at least four men or teens west from the park and get into a silver car. He and his wife decided to wait a few minutes before going outside. He described seeing dozens of people gathered at one end of the park and at least 100 at the other. Police were compassionate, and everyone in the area was respectful, Curry said. He knew some of those shot and commented that “What people call senseless violence makes sense to someone, but every life matters.”
Another neighbor, Jose Lopez, said there are two possible outcomes for those who become involved in gangs or violence – being shot or going to jail. “There’s no winning out here,” he said. “It’s sad.”