Latest deadly shooting adds to spate of Chicago homicides

Authorities say two people opened fire at a Chicago gathering, killing one person and wounding seven others in the second such attack on the city’s South Side in the past two weeks

CHICAGO -- Two people opened fire at a Chicago gathering early Friday, killing one person and wounding seven others in the second such attack on the city's South Side in the past two weeks.

According to police, two males opened fire at the “pop-up party” in the Ashburn neighborhood, killing a 26-year-old man who was shot in the head and leaving the wounded hospitalized in conditions ranging from fair to critical.

The shooting followed a March 14 attack at another pop-up party in the Park Manor neighborhood a few miles east, where two people were killed and at least a dozen others were wounded.

The fatal shootings appear to be picking up even after a year in which they jumped dramatically in Chicago, from 495 in 2019 to 769 in 2020. The city is on a pace to record even more this year: As of Wednesday, there had been 123 homicides in the city since Jan. 1, compared to 94 during the same period last year, according to the police department.

There have also been more police officers shot or shot at. On Thursday, an alleged shoplifter at a Home Depot on the South Side shot a security guard and a police officer before he was killed in a shootout with police a short time later.

The officer, who was shot in the shoulder and is expected to recover, is the fourth member of the department to be shot in the past two weeks and the 21st to be shot this year, compared to nine who were shot during the same period of 2020. Last year was one of the most dangerous for the city's police officers in memory, as 79 were fired upon, compared to 22 the year before.

Police have struggled to explain the climbing totals, but at a press briefing Thursday, Police Superintendent David Brown, while talking about the officer who was shot at the Home Depot, suggested a connection between the shootings of officers and of civilians.

“Men and women in law enforcement all across the country are under attack,” said Brown, who mentioned Eric Talley, the officer who was killed in Monday's mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.

“But here in Chicago ... it seems that these offenders are acting with impunity in the way not only do they shoot each other, but basically a loss of respect for law enforcement,” Brown said.