A suspect is in custody after nine people were shot, two fatally, Thursday night in an incident that left bystanders scattering near a busy downtown Chicago intersection, police said.
Police received reports of two groups fighting around 10:40 p.m. near a train station at the intersection between Chicago Avenue and State Street on the city’s north side, police Superintendent David Brown said at a Friday news conference. The station is located in a shopping hub on State Street and just blocks from the city’s iconic commercial district, Magnificent Mile.
As officers arrived and began weaving their way through the crowd near a McDonald’s, gunfire broke out, Brown said. He said surveillance video of the shooting shows a person firing into the crowd, killing two people and injuring seven more.
The shooter fled with a group of people, heading toward the train station platform as officers pursued them, Brown said.
Officers then arrested the suspect, who was not identified during Friday’s news conference, pending charges, Brown said. He said the suspect was still armed while fleeing officers, and the gun was recovered from the scene.
Another person who police said tried to prevent officers from arresting the suspected shooter was charged with obstruction, Brown said. Police haven’t identified a third person they believe handed the shooter the gun, Brown added.
A woman, who Brown said was part of the group that fled, was electrocuted and suffered a serious burn injury after falling onto the train tracks. She is in critical condition, Brown said.
The seven wounded were hospitalized in serious to critical condition, Chicago Fire Department officials told the Chicago Sun-Times. Police initially reported 10 people were shot.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene as bystanders fled the gunfire and police officers rushed to break up a fistfight that broke out among several people, the Sun-Times and NBC Chicago reported.
One witness, Deonna Jackson, 18, told the Sun-Times she ran from the fight when it started.
“We get to 7/11, we turn around and they just get to shooting, to shooting like crazy,” Jackson said.
In a statement Friday morning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the shooting “an outrageous act of violence” and announced that the city will install a “fixed post” of police officers at the intersection.
“Area residents, commuters, and others simply must 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,” she said.
Brown called the shooting part of a “gun crime crisis in our city,” urging for a stronger crackdown on illegal guns.
Dorval R. Carter, Jr., president of the Chicago Transit Authority, said at the Friday news conference that CTA officials would continue to work closely with the Chicago Police Department to monitor the case.
“We are committed to addressing the concerns of crime and safety for both nearby residents as well as our riders,” Carter said. “…Our stations will continue to keep an eye our for reports of any suspicious activity.”