Chicago Halloween party mass shooting: 15 wounded, police seek to shut down establishment

A suspect is in custody following a mass shooting at a Halloween party that left 15 people wounded in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood early Sunday morning.

Just after 1 a.m., police responded to a report of shots fired in the 1200 block of South Pulaski Road – outside Studio 1258.

When officers arrived at the scene, they were told by witnesses that the shooter fled the scene and in which direction he went.

Officers located the suspect in the 4000 block of 14th St. and took him into custody, police said. A handgun was found in his possession.

The victims – six women and nine men – range in age from 26 to 53, according to police. About 100 people were attending the Halloween party when gunfire rang out.

A 26-year-old woman is in critical condition with gunshot wounds to the hip and buttocks, and a 48-year-old man is in critical condition with several gunshot wounds. Thirteen others were wounded by gunfire, but are listed in good to fair condition.

Police say witnesses told responding officers that the suspect was kicked out of the party and came back minutes later with a gun and started shooting.

"I don't know whether to scream or to cry. We shouldn't be out here on a Sunday because 15 victims lay in a hospital because they were shot, because someone couldn't get back into a party. When does this end community? When does the fight stop fighting one another?" said Ald. Monique Scott, 24th Ward.

The location where the party took place has a history of throwing unlicensed events, according to police. Authorities are now working to shut down the establishment. They’re currently licensed as an art gallery, police said.

Community leaders, including multiple city council members joined police at the scene. In Lawndale, back in July, nine people were shot. Eight of them were women, including 21-year-old Kanesha Gaines, a mother of two who was killed.

This Halloween weekend alone, 11 people were killed in 12 mass shootings across the country. The city is now opening an emergency assistance center to support victims, their families and the community through this time.

The Emergency Assistance Center will open this coming Tues 12-7 p.m. at YMEN, located 1241 S. Pulaski.

The suspect has not been charged yet. The investigation is ongoing.

Mayor Brandon Johnson released a statement, saying in part:

"As with all acts of gun violence in our city, my heart is with the victims, families and communities impacted. The Community Safety Coordination Center will ensure that victims and survivors have the resources they need to address trauma, and my office will continue to mobilize the full force of government in working with City agencies, community-based partners, faith leaders and others to reduce the number of guns on Chicago streets and bring safety to our neighborhoods and families.

Sadly, mass casualty events like these are not exclusive to the City of Chicago. This Halloween weekend alone, 11 people were killed in 12 mass shootings across the country from Tampa to Texarkana. This comes on the heels of last week's devastating mass shooting in Maine.

The proliferation of high-powered artillery is tearing the fabric of our nation, and as long as I am mayor, Chicago will continue to lead the call for common sense gun reform to bring safety to all communities."