The Washington Park neighborhood lit up with gunfire and when the dust settled, one teenage boy lay dead on the scene and three others — including a 14-year-old boy — were rushed to the hospital, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The shooting took place on 53rd Street, near Martin Luther King Drive, one of the most infamous areas in the Windy City.
Paramedics learned a 15-year-old boy was dead on the scene, said Chicago Fire Dept. spokesman Joe Roccasalva.
The victim was shot in the chest, according to a spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Three other people were wounded and needed hospitalization, Roccasalva said.
Crews took a 14-year-old boy to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital in serious to critical condition, a 30-year-old man in critical condition to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, and a 20-year-old man who was seriously wounded to University of Chicago Hospitals, Roccasalva said.
According to ABC News, the teens were standing in the foyer of an apartment building when the shooting took place. Though police were hesitant to say that gangs were behind the incident, residents report that tensions had been brewing in the neighborhood all day Monday:
“I don’t get it,” said Shakitta Thompson. “What would possess you to shoot a child like that? It makes me nervous for my own kids. My kids go to school right there. I got to be alert.”
Homicide cases in Chicago are, unfortunately, still rising even as other crime statistics are falling.
As Newsone previously reported, though crime in Chicago has decreased overall in 2012, the murder rate has increased by a shocking 53.8 percent.
Police Chief Garry McCarthy told the Chicago Tribune that there were 40 homicides in January in the city, up from 26 in January of 2011. According to police records, the increase in homicides continues the same violent streak that held the city hostage at the end of last year.
McCarthy shared the tragic details of the crime wave that has ushered in 2012:
“We’re at 73 percent murder-by-gunshot right now, which means that the other categories have stacked up…stabbings, asphyxiation,” McCarthy said.
Former White House Chief-of-Staff and current mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, says that gang activity is at the crux of the city’s problems:
“Chicago has a problem unlike any other major city given the size of our gangs, said Emmanuel. “Nobody can be content, but we are making progress in the right things that are necessary to bring a level of safety to our streets.”