7 seriously hurt in South Chicago mass shooting

Seven people were transported to area hospitals in serious to critical condition.

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Seven people were shot March 13, 2022 in South Chicago.

Seven people were shot March 13, 2022 in South Chicago.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Two people are in critical condition and five others are in serious condition after a mass shooting happened Sunday at a South Chicago shopping center.

At 3:40 p.m. Sunday, a car pulled up to a group of people who were standing outside of the Little Caesars pizzeria in the 7900 block of South Exchange Avenue, said Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, who referenced video officers had reviewed of the shooting.

After a short discussion, someone in the vehicle “almost immediately” opened fire, wounding seven adults, Brown said.

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He said police weren’t sure if the shooting was targeted or if there was an argument during the exchange of words.

A 34-year-old man was shot in the chest and was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition, police said. Another, 31, was struck in the abdomen and was taken to the same hospital, where he was also in critical condition.

A man, 51, was shot in the hip and was taken in good condition to Northwestern University Medical Center, police said.

Four men suffered gunshot wounds to the leg, police said. Two men, 59 and 62, were transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center in good condition. The other two, 36 and 63, were also in good condition and were taken to Stroger and Northwestern University hospitals.

Brown said there wasn’t an exchange of gunfire, though police were unsure if there was more than one shooter. Police were unsure if there was a second car involved in the shooting.

About 60 casings could be seen along 79th Street.

Police officers surrounded the area where seven people were shot March, 13, 2022 in South Chicago.

Police officers surrounded the area where seven people were shot March, 13, 2022 in South Chicago.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

“One shooting is one too many,” Brown said. “…Whether it was a targeted shooting or an altercation, it’s unacceptable, and we are going to put all of our efforts forward to solve this shooting and bring those to justice that were involved.”

Brown asked for anyone who was in the area or knows what happens to come forward and help police. No one was in custody as of Sunday evening.

As police collected evidence at the scene, two small children watched from a window in an apartment building off of 79th Street.

About a handful of nearby residents gathered as they tried to figure out what happened.

Barbara Thompson, 59, lives about three miles west of where the shooting took place, but she decided to stop by after hearing about what happened from community members.

“I just wanted to come by here and say a prayer,” Thompson said. “And just think positive because every time it gets warm outside, that’s the first thing I do. I pray because it seems like when the weather heats up, people get hotheaded.”

Thompson said she thinks helping young people find jobs is one thing that could curb violence in the city.

“I feel like if we reach one, teach one; that’s the answer right there,” she said.

Contributing: Cindy Hernandez

Elvia Malagón’s reporting on social justice and income inequality is made possible by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust.

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