NEW YORK — A house party on Chicago’s South Side was meant to remember a man who was fatally shot during a carjacking in April, authorities said. But the memorial itself erupted into violence early Sunday after at least two gunmen opened fire, wounding 13 people, four of them critically.
The shooting took place just after 12:30 a.m. Chicago time in the Englewood neighborhood on what was the birthday of the man killed in April, said Tom Ahern, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.
About 70 people, including friends and family of the man, were in the two-story house at the time, he said.
The motive was not immediately clear.
Fred Waller, chief of patrol for the Police Department, said at a news conference that the authorities were investigating any connection between the April killing and Sunday’s shooting.
Two people were being questioned in connection with Sunday’s shooting, Waller said.
He said he did not believe it was gang-related, but was probably an “isolated incident” stemming from a “personal dispute.”
“It’s a terrible tragedy and frankly an incredible act of cowardice,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a later news conference on Sunday.
Waller said the victims had “various gunshot wounds to their bodies.”
The youngest was 16, the oldest about 48. He said four people were critically injured and the rest were in stable condition.
Waller said surveillance footage captured part of the shooting, which took place on the 5700 block of South May Street.
After gunshots were fired during a dispute inside the home, people began spilling outside, and two gunmen fired on the crowd, he said.
“It looked like they were just shooting randomly at people as they exited the party,” he said.
Stephanie D. Coleman, the alderman who represents the neighborhood, said at the news conference that she had gone to the scene after hearing about the shooting from constituents.
“I saw disappointment, I saw frustration, I saw, oh gosh, fear,” she said.
“I saw lots of concerned neighbors getting to the bottom of it.”
Chicago has long struggled with gun violence. In one weekend in August, for example, seven people were killed and 52 wounded by gunfire.
In October, a 7-year-old girl dressed as a bumblebee was shot while trick-or-treating with her family on Halloween.
Shootings overall, however, are down this year, compared with last year.
The Chicago Tribune, which tracks the number, said 2,594 people had been shot as of Dec. 14, or 248 fewer than in 2018.