CHICAGO, IL – A horrifying incident unfolded early Sunday, leaving 15 people wounded by gunfire at an unauthorized Halloween party in North Lawndale. According to Chicago Police Department’s Ogden District Commander William Betancourt, the “senseless act of violence” occurred around 1 a.m. in the 1200 block of South Pulaski Road. Approximately 100 attendees recounted that the alleged shooter, who had been ejected from the party, returned minutes later with a firearm and opened fire.
Swift action by partygoers led to the suspect’s identification and subsequent arrest in the 4000 block of West 14th Street. A weapon was also recovered. The victims, comprising nine men and six women aged 26 to 53, included two critically injured individuals, while the rest were reported to be in good-to-fair condition.
Eyewitness accounts shed light on the chaotic scene. Performer Andre Williams mentioned that the shooter had a confrontation with security before discharging his weapon. Disturbing videos circulating on social media depicted the aftermath, with some victims still lying wounded on the ground.
Police radio transmissions indicated the confusion that ensued, with many victims self-transporting to hospitals as officers struggled to ascertain the precise number of casualties. Responding to a ShotSpotter gunshot detection alert, officers arrived while the gunman was still firing shots.
Mayor Brandon Johnson expressed solidarity with the victims and the impacted community, emphasizing efforts to reduce firearm proliferation on the streets of Chicago. Glen Brooks, the director of community policing for the Chicago Police Department, stressed the need for healing in the community after an event such as this.
An emergency assistance center, offering support for those affected by the shooting, will open at the Young Men’s Educational Network, 1241 S. Pulaski Road, on Tuesday. The venue of the party, Studio 1258, an art gallery with a history of hosting unlicensed events, will be closed under the city’s summary closure ordinance, which allows immediate shutdown of businesses associated with violence.
Sunday’s incident marked the largest mass shooting recorded in Chicago this year. In the Ogden District, encompassing sections of Little Village, North Lawndale, and Heart of Chicago neighborhoods, shootings and homicides have seen a decline, mirroring a citywide trend. Shootings in the district decreased by 22% from the same period last year, while murders dropped by 9%.
Following a news conference, community members gathered near the scene for a prayer led by Reshorna Fitzpatrick, the executive pastor of Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church in North Lawndale.