tarting about midnight Saturday, at least 41 people were shot citywide, five fatally, in a period of less than seven hours as gunmen targeted groups at a block party, after a funeral, on a front porch and in other gatherings, according to authorities.
The bloody toll comes as tens of thousands of concertgoers converged downtown for Lollapalooza, which drew heightened security and a large police presence following the country’s deadliest mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival last year.
In contrast to the joyous scene downtown, the brunt of the violence early Sunday was felt on the West Side, where 26 people were shot in separate attacks between midnight and 6:50 a.m., according to police figures.
The largest shooting, which injured eight people, happened in the South Side’s Gresham neighborhood as a group, including a 14-year-old girl, was standing in a courtyard just before 12:40 a.m.
The crowd had gathered after attending a funeral repast, said Fred Waller, Chicago police chief of patrol.
During a Sunday news conference, Waller voiced frustration at gang members whom he blamed for taking advantage of large summer crowds to use as cover to take revenge.
The gang members do not fear repercussions from the law, Waller said.
“They take advantage of that opportunity and they shoot into a crowd, no matter who they hit,” Waller said.
Even a block party was not safe from the violence.