By LAUREN FITZPATRICK and MATTHEW HENDRICKSON
As the gatherers mourned, two gunmen, apparently using assault rifles, opened fire on the crowd, leaving the siblings dead and eight other people wounded about 5:15 p.m. Sunday at Rockwell Street and 46th Place, according to Chicago Police Deputy Supt. Kevin Navarro.
Michael Williams, 24; and Adriana Williams, 27, were both shot multiple times, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Michael was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said, while Adriana was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:57 p.m.
A 19-year-old woman was shot in the right leg, and a 25-year-old man suffered gunshot wounds to the right hip and right elbow, police said. They were taken in good condition to Mount Sinai Hospital.
Six more people were listed in good condition at Stroger, police said. A 23-year-old man and two 26-year-old men were all shot in their right legs; a 26-year-old man was shot in both ankles; a 25-year-old woman was shot in the right arm; and another 23-year-old man suffered bullet fragment wounds to his right leg.
At a brief press conference Sunday night, Navarro said: “This evening at approximately 5:15 p.m., we had another brazen act of gang violence on the streets of Chicago. The people shot were participating in a memorial for a subject that was murdered earlier in the day and during this memorial, two subjects came out of an alley east of the location on 46th Place and opened fire with rifles.”
Police said the shooters were masked and may have left the area in a light-colored van or SUV.
Michael is a father of two who attended Wendall Phillips Academy. His older sister is the mother of three, who attended Crane Tech and later Malcolm X College. They both lived in the Little Village neighborhood.
The shooting is thought to be gang-related retaliation for a murder earlier Sunday in the same block, police said.
About 4:30 a.m., officers responded to a call of a person shot in the 2500 block of West 46th Place and found 26-year-old Daniel Cordova unresponsive on the ground between two parked cars, police said. He had been shot in the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The morning murder, Navarro said, also was a gang-related shooting, and also involved an assault rifle.
The worst mass shooting in the city in four years comes was likely related to a gang turf war, with four or more Hispanic gangs or factions battling for territory in Brighton Park and Back of the Yards, police said.
Two plainclothes police officers were shot not far away a week earlier, and a suspect allegedly told police the shooters thought they were gang members.
Police said they do not believe Sunday’s shootings were related to the incident with police.
“I am thankful today that no innocent lives were lost, no children were shot, no police officers were shot,” said Ald. Raymond Lopez.
He said the Sunday afternoon shooting marked “the second time in a week we’re here tonight talking about assault weapons being used in our communities. Last week we seen assault rifles used on police. Today they’re used on gang members in the Brighton Park community. In broad daylight. On a Sunday.”
Following his comments, Lopez said he received death threats, and a police security detail was protecting him in the following days.
“I was elected to defend my residents and will continue to do so,” the alderman said while declining to comment on the alleged threats.
No one was in custody for the Sunday’s shootings as of Wednesday, but police were saturating the neighborhood in a search for suspects and to discourage another retaliation shooting.
“We have a fairly good idea who we’re looking for,” Deputy Chief Kevin Ryan said. “We have a fairly good idea of the conflict involved and where we need to be deployed.”