CHICAGO — Seven people, including four men killed in a gang-retaliation attack at a fast-food restaurant and a pregnant woman found with a gunshot wound to the head, were gunned down Thursday in three separate incidents within blocks of each other, police said.
The latest convulsion of violence, which occurred over a 12-hour period in the city’s South Shore neighborhood, comes as Chicago tallied nearly 900 murders in the past 15 months.
Two people — a 27-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman — were fatally shot as they drove near the South Shore Cultural Center, a popular recreational spot operated by the city’s park district, around 11 p.m. Thursday.
Police said a black Jeep drove alongside the victim’s van and opened fire, causing the van to strike a pole. The woman, who was sitting in the front passenger’s seat, suffered a gunshot wound to the head, and the man —who was a documented gang member — was shot in the side, according to police. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
In the quadruple homicide about seven hours earlier, four male victims were found in or around the Nadia Fish and Chicken restaurant, according to police.
Police said a male suspect approached the restaurant and fired shots. When officers arrived at the scene, they found two of the victims — 28-year-old Emmanuel Stokes and 32 year-old Edwin Davis — inside the restaurant. Dillon Jackson, 20, was found dead outside the restaurant. His brother, Raheem Jackson, 19, was found in a nearby yard. The Jackson brothers’ mother worked in the restaurant where they were shot.
Shortly after noon, police responded to an incident at an apartment about a mile from the restaurant in which Patrice Calvin, 26, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. She was four months pregnant, according to police.
“She was a beautiful person,” said her mother, Patricia Pulliam, who spoke briefly to USA TODAY as she left Calvin’s apartment on Friday.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the killings “evil.”
“There is a level of evil and depravity about an individual [who] would shoot a pregnant woman,” Emanuel told reporters. “There is a level of evil and depravity of an individual who would walk into a restaurant and, in front of a mother, shoot her sons.
The seven killings in South Shore followed another gang-related fatal shooting in the neighborhood late Wednesday, in which police said four men exited a vehicle and opened fire on a 37-year-old man as he was walking on a sidewalk. The man, who was wounded on the side of his body, transported himself to an area hospital, but later died from his injuries.
No suspects are in custody in any of the incidents. Police declined to comment on whether the shootings are connected.
Police Superintend Eddie Johnson said investigators believe the shooting at the restaurant as well as the double homicide near the cultural center were gang-related, but declined to provide more specific details because of the ongoing investigation.
“We know for certain that these incidents were targeted and are related to gang conflicts in the area,” Johnson said. “While that doesn’t lessen the weight of what happened, we know these aren’t random acts of violence.”