(The Center Square) – Police and city officials say they were not prepared for a mass shooting at a unsanctioned Halloween party in North Lawndale that injured 15 and left two in critical condition.
Early Sunday morning, shots were fired at a group of nearly 100 people during a Halloween celebration. The shooter allegedly opened fire on the group after being previously asked to leave the event.
The shooting took place at an unsanctioned event within the city, meaning no police were on the scene during the party.
The alleged shooter was arrested a short time after the shooting. However, no details have been released regarding the person’s identity.
On Sunday, William Betancourt, commander of the Chicago Police Department’s 10th district, explained the night’s events.
“The victims, who range in age from 26 to 53, were taken to different hospitals in the area,” Betancourt said. “Two of the victims were transported in critical condition, and the others were transported in good to fair condition. At this time, our four detectives are investigating, interviewing the suspect, and trying to investigate what led up to the shooting.”
Betancourt said the police responded to an unsanctioned event at the same location in May, but Sunday’s incident “caught them off guard.”
“This is another event that has led to tragedy. The one earlier on, we were able to catch it really quick,” Betancourt said. “This one was all done by word of mouth, so we were not aware. We were caught off guard.”
In July, North Lawndale had another mass shooting that left eight injured. The city has also seen mass shootings on Juneteenth and the Fourth of July.
Ald. Monique Scott, who represents the Ogden neighborhood, urged the public to stop the violence.
“I don’t know whether to scream or to cry,” Scott said. “We shouldn’t be out here on a Sunday because 15 victims lay in the hospital because they were shot because someone could not get back into a party. When does this end community? When does the fight stop fighting one another?”
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said he wants guns off the streets.
“As with all acts of gun violence in our city, my heart is with the victims, families and communities impacted,” Johnson said. “The Community Safety Coordination Center will ensure that victims and survivors have the resources they need to address trauma, and my office will continue to mobilize the full force of government in working with City agencies, community-based partners, faith leaders, and others to reduce the number of guns on Chicago streets and bring safety to our neighborhoods and families.”
As of Monday morning, there has been no updates on the two victims who were listed in critical condition.