Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter told reporters the shooting began at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when occupants of a black vehicle that drove up to the funeral home opened fire on attendees.
Those at the funeral then returned fire as the vehicle sped from the scene before crashing midway down the block, causing those inside to flee on foot in multiple directions, he said.
The 14 people injured, all believed to be adults, were transported to five area hospitals but their condition was unknown, Carter said, adding at least 60 bullet cases were retrieved from the scene.
“Right now, it’s unknown if anyone was not a part of the funeral or a part of the vehicle,” he said. “So out of the 14 victims, it’s unknown right now if there were any innocent bystanders, so to speak, on the street.”
A person of interest was in police custody and undergoing questioning, he added.
“Detectives will be conducting a canvas this evening and early tomorrow,” he said, requesting if anyone has video of the shooting or information about the incident to contact the authorities.
A squad car was stationed at the funeral “as a precaution” by the district commander due to the size of the funeral, Carter said, adding that he was unaware of any warnings from activists that a shooting may erupt at the scene.
Asked if the officers on the scene could have done more to prevent the violence, Carter replied,” that’s being looked at.”
“Commander of the district took every precaution he could,” he said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned the violence by “cowardly gunmen.” Outreach teams have been deployed to provide trauma and victim support to residents, she said.
“Far too many have suffered. Far too many have attended funerals and tried to start the process of healing entire communities following another senseless tragedy. When a person picks up a gun, we suffer as a city,” she said in a statement. “This cannot be who we are.”
The shooting comes amid an increase in violence in the city that prompted President Donald Trump to say a day prior that he’s considering sending federal officers to Chicago.
“We can’t let this happen to the cities,” Trump told reporters Monday.
Lightfoot earlier Tuesday threatened to sue Trump in a letter if he did deploy troops.
“Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents,” she said.