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CPD’s Johnson: 7 South Shore murders not random acts of violence

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, at microphones, holds a press conference in South Shore on Friday, a day after seven people were murdered within a mile of each other in South Shore in less than 12 hours. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

Calling the seven homicides within a 12-hour span in South Shore on Thursday “deplorable,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson vowed Friday afternoon to “utilize the full weight” of police resources to find those responsible.

No one was in custody for any of the shootings — including a quadruple homicide that occurred in and just outside a restaurant — though police officials said detectives were working “around the clock” and making progress.

Johnson offered few specifics into the shootings. He did offer that the attacks were not random and apparently unrelated to each other.

“Beyond the perspective of a cop, as a Chicagoan, I’m angry and sickened,” Johnson said at a press conference about a half block west of the scene of Thursday’s quadruple homicide at 75th and Coles.

“We know for certain that these incidents were targeted and are related to gang conflicts in the area,” Johnson said. “While that doesn’t lessen the weight of what happened, we know that these weren’t random acts of violence.

“For the remainder of the community, they’re relatively safe. We’re here to stabilize things over here and keep the community safe and that’s what we intend to do.”

The South Shore neighborhood will be saturated with police until suspects are brought into custody, Johnson said.

“You will see a heavy police presence until we bring these individuals, get them in custody and hold them accountable for what they did,” he said.

A 26-year-old woman who was four months pregnant was found fatally shot in a home in the 7500 block of South Luella about noon Thursday. Four men were shot to death in and around the restaurant, Nadia Fish and Chicken, about 3:30 p.m. A man and woman were fatally shot in a vehicle in the 7000 block of South South Shore Drive about 11 p.m.

As Johnson and other police officials spoke to reporters Friday, family and friends of Emmanuel C. Stokes, 28, and Edwin Davis, 32, gathered. A memorial for the two men was set up outside the Nadia restaurant, where Stokes and Davis were when they were shot.

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Greg Zanis, a retired carpenter from Aurora, brought four homemade crosses, one for each of the men killed at the restaurant, and placed them outside.

Family members leaned on the crosses, sobbing, while about a dozen other people gathered to write remembrances for the two on a poster as they drank Hennessy from small, clear plastic cups and smoked cigarettes on the sidewalk.

RELATED: 7 dead in 3 separate shootings in South Shore

Tempers began to rise during the press conference as those gathered at the memorial began arguing with police.

Teen activist Lamon Reccord, who gained notoriety during the 2015 Laquan McDonald shooting protest, and CPD area coordinator Glen Brooks played the role of peacemakers.