Police officers investigate at the scene of a shooting outside a funeral home in Chicago, Illinois, July 21, 2020.
Police officers investigate at the scene of a shooting outside a funeral home in Chicago, Illinois, July 21, 2020.

Chicago police say gang violence was behind the shooting outside a funeral home that injured 15 people late Tuesday.

At a news conference Wednesday with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city officials, Chicago Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said the eruption of gunfire was part of an ongoing conflict between the gang of a young man whose funeral was being held and members of a rival gang.

Police say two of the injured are in critical condition.

Deenihan said return gunfire came from people outside the funeral home. He said the man whose funeral people were attending had been killed in a drive-by shooting last week and that he was killed in retaliation for a previous shooting.

Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters at least 60 shell casings were recovered following the shooting, which happened despite police having two squad cars outside the funeral home. Brown said it’s part of the cycle of violence in Chicago where someone gets shot, which prompts someone else to pick up a gun.  

He said it is a cycle that repeats itself over and over, and is fueled by street gangs, guns and drugs.  

Lightfoot called the violence “a symptom” of young men not believing that they have a future other than being part of one of these gangs or factions. She said they cannot abandon those young men or the communities they come from.

In Washington, the Department of Homeland Security is planning to deploy dozens of federal agents to Chicago to deal with a significant uptick in violent crime in the city.

Neither Brown nor Mayor Lori Lightfoot commented at the news conference on the planned increased federal presence.