Two people were killed and at least eight others were wounded when a fight broke out near a McDonald’s on the Near North Side Thursday night.
The shooting happened about 10:40 p.m. near Chicago Avenue and State Street, according to Chicago police spokesman Tom Ahern.
Paramedics wheeled stretcher after stretcher under police tape. The eight wounded were taken to hospitals in serious to critical condition, with at least one of them undergoing surgery, fire officials said. Their ages were not immediately known.
The chaotic scene quickly spilled onto the nearby Red Line as police searched for a suspect and a gun, stopping at least one train and evacuating passengers. CTA officials were stationed near the subway entrance as police combed the tracks.
A person suffered burns when she apparently fell against the third rail, according to fire officials. She was stabilized at Stroger Hospital.
At least one person was taken into custody and a weapon was recovered, Ahern said.
Police didn’t release additional details, but witnesses said the shooting stemmed from a fight outside the McDonald’s.
“When the fight first started, we were right next to them,” said Deonna Jackson, 18. “We had to run because I didn’t want anyone to swing on me.”
“We were literally right there,” she said. “The person that they jumped on, we were talking to the people he was with, which turned out to be some girls.”
“We get to 7/11, we turn around and they just get to shooting, to shooting like crazy,” Jackson said.
Tensions erupted among the crowd of onlookers, some of them yelling as officers blocked off the streets around the McDonald’s. Some in the crowd began fighting with each other and officers quickly moved in to break them up.
One person asked an officer why it had to be this way. “It doesn’t have to be,” the officer responded.
Several of the wounded were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, including one person who died. As the sun rose Friday, two people who said they knew one of the victims talked near a car where a woman, appearing distraught, spoke to someone on the phone.
“There’s nothing you can do or say to help us right now,” one of them said.
He said it was difficult getting information from police and hospitals. “These victims have mothers.”
About an hour later, the woman was seen leaving the hospital in tears. Three others sobbed and hugged each other near the hospital’s entrance.
Shootings have been spiking downtown all year. They are up 225% in the 18th District, which includes the McDonald’s. In the 1st District which covers parts of downtown and the Loop, shootings are up 100%.