CHICAGO (AP) — A 17-year-old boy was fatally shot with an assault weapon on Sunday just a few feet outside a Chicago Catholic church, police said.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the shooting was early Sunday afternoon outside Holy Cross Catholic Church. The Chicago Sun-Times said Mass was underway inside the church at the time.
Police found the unidentified teenager unresponsive with several gunshot wounds and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Based on shell casings found at the scene, Guglielmi said investigators believe the teen was shot with a “high-capacity assault rifle.”
“It’s certainly unusual,” Guglielmi told the Chicago Tribune. “This is not the typical weapon used in a lot of shootings.”
Chicago city council member Raymond Lopez said the attack was about 20 feet from the front doors of Holy Cross about 10 minutes before church let out.
The shooting was believed to be gang related, Eugene Roy, Chief of Detectives for the Chicago police, told the Tribune.
“There’s literally dozens of shell casings on the street you can see marked by the orange cones,” Roy said about the evidence markers. “This is indicative of the level of violence we see on a daily basis.”
Chicago’s south and west sides have been plagued by gang violence for years. There were 66 homicides in May, an increase of 19 from May the previous year. The city is on pace to easily surpass last year’s homicide total of just under 500 and the 500 homicides it saw in 2012.