Faith leaders, police call for peace after gunman wounds 6 after South Side funeral

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CHICAGO -- Faith leaders and Chicago police called for peace Tuesday after a gunman wounded six people after a South Side funeral on Monday.

Many in the Burnside neighborhood were still in disbelief over the brutal nature of the attack. A gunman opened fire on a crowd leaving a funeral at the Bethlehem Star Missionary Baptist Church near 92nd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue Monday around noon. No one was killed, but six were wounded. One man was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head in critical condition.

Neighbors told WGN News they heard at least 40 or 50 gunshots. Some said it was like a scene out of a movie.

"Everybody needs to put their guns down because innocent people are getting shot," a neighborhood resident said.

The crime scene stretched for nearly three blocks. Detectives found shell casings in the streets and gangways between homes. Other investigators canvassed for surveillance video.

"This activity that happened outside this great church yesterday should never happen in america, nor in the city of Chicago,” Richard Boykin, Cook County commissioner, said.

However, in the City of chicago, funeral shootings happens so much, there's actually a funeral shootings task force run out of the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

The person who was being laid to rest was 25-year-old Vantrease Criss, a rapper who was shot and killed Oct. 9 in Washington Park.

The rapper wasn’t a member of the congregation, but the church opened its doors to him anyway.

The church did not have security. They had no idea they would need it. It is now one of the issues faith leaders are taking a hard look at.

“This is asinine. It’s ridiculous and it must stop,” Rev. Ira Acree, Greater St. John Bible Church, said. “And I think as pastors, we’ve got to show some tough love now. That’s what we’ve got to do.”

No one was taken into custody.

Police are asking for the public’s help and asking anyone that may have cell phone video or any other information to contact them at Area South or anonymously through the tip line.

An emergency town hall meeting was called Tuesday evening to try to find solutions to the area’s gang violence.

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