A church shooting occurred where six people were wounded at a Chicago area church on Saturday, August 1, 2009 during the funeral of an admitted gang member. A man approached a group of people standing outside the west side church and shot one man. As he fled, he turned and was able to shoot five additional people. Inner city churches face violence on a daily basis, and many have an informal church security plan. It is apparent the sacred place of a church is no longer protected from anyone bent on violence. (Picture by John White, Chicago Sun Times).
This appeared in the Chicago Sun Times and was written BY Mary Houlihan and Mile Lanso Staff Reporters
Chicago-Six people were wounded in a shooting outside an Austin church while a funeral was being held this afternoon.
At noon, the Gospel Truth Life Church at 5301 W. Madison was filled with an overflow crowd — with more funeral attendees standing outside when shots were fired, Chicago police said.
At some point during his funeral, police said, a male shooter approached the storefront church on foot, aimed a gun at a man standing outside and shot him multiple times in the abdomen.
“We were clapping our hands and praising the Lord when the shots started, and we hit the floor,” said a woman at the funeral. “It’s obvious somebody was out for revenge,” said the woman, who did not want to give her name.
As the shooter fled the scene, he fired several more shots randomly into the crowd, police said.
The shooting was “definitely gang-related,” said spokesman Kevin Kilmer.
Four men and two women between the ages of 27 and 45 were injured, authorities said, and were taken to area hospitals. One remained in serious condition; the other five were in good condition, officials said.
“It’s very tragic. People just don’t have respect for the house of God anymore,” the Rev. Renaldo Kyles told WBBM-Channel 2.
Authorities said they were reviewing footage from two police cameras in the area and interviewing witnesses.
“We have a couple of witnesses that are cooperating, but most of the witnesses out there are not cooperating,” Grand Central Deputy Chief Roberto Zavala told Channel 2.
No one was in custody as of this evening.
“It’s sad, really sad, that something like this has to happen,” said Robinson’s cousin, Taikwan Cooper, 17.