CHICAGO (CBS) — A quadruple murder sparked a rash of gang retaliation shootings Saturday, according to a southwest side alderman.
Assault rifles were used in all incidents, and city officials say they are becoming the weapon of choice in certain parts of Chicago.
And as CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, neighborhoods are paying a high price.
Twice in 15 hours, bullet casings from what’s believed to be assault rifles littered a southwest side street. In one of the shootings, two men were hit; neither one was a gang member.
Abed Ayesh’s brother, Odiah, was one of them.
“It was an assault rifle, and he had a son with him — a six-year-old. Thank God nothing happened there,” Ayesh said.
Both victims are expected to recover.
Ayesh, and other residents who did not wish to be identified, say the Back of the Yards and the Brighton Park neighborhoods, in particular, are in crisis.
“Everybody is on edge, on pins and needles, ready to explode,” one resident said.
Fueled, they say, by the proliferation of assault rifles used in gang shootings and retaliations.
“We are seeing time and again, these weapons are being imported from Tennessee, North Carolina, Indiana,” Ald. Raymond Lopez said. “People are buying them by the trunk loads — $300 a pop for an AK-47, bringing them to our streets.”
Ald. Lopez says retaliation shootings have become almost like a game to gang members. He says they even keep track of victims on social media. Saturday’s shooting, he believes, is retaliation for Friday night’s quadruple murder. All four of those victims were found shot to death in a car in Brighton Park.
“…With an assault rifle with 30-plus rounds unloaded into the vehicle,” Lopez said of the shooting.
Ald. Lopez was set to take part in an anti-violence walk when he got the call about the morning’s shootings.
Ayesh says his family has had enough, “They don’t want to live here anymore. The gang bangers won.”
Chicago Police say three of the victims from Friday’s shooting — all men in their 20’s — were documented gang members. The fouth victim, a 28-year-old woman, was reportedly pregnant. Police are still looking for the shooters.