25-year-old Vantrease R. Criss, known mostly by his rap name of "Dooski Tha Man", was being memorialized after his untimely death . Criss was shot and killed on October 9 while walking down the street with a female companion. The woman was also shot but her injuries were not fatal. As those who attended his funeral service to mourn his passing were leaving the church where his funeral was held, "pandemonium" erupted on the streets.
Via Chicago Sun Times:
"The mass shooting happened about 12:30 p.m. outside Bethlehem Star Missionary Baptist Church, 9231 S. Cottage Grove, authorities said. The most seriously wounded was a 21-year-old man, who was shot in the head and in critical condition at University of Chicago Medical Center. The conditions of the remaining victims had all stabilized, authorities said.
Also at U. of C. Medical Center were a 25-year-old man shot in the arm, a 27-year-old woman shot in the leg and lower body and a 24-year-old man male shot in the leg. An 18-year-old man was shot and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and a 23-year-old man shot in the leg was taken to Advocate Trinity Hospital."
"A man who has lived within a block of the shooting scene for more than 15 years said he was inside his home when he heard gunfire.
The man said the shooting was “rapid fire” at first.
“Then it sounded like cannon-fire,” he added.
He asked to remain anonymous out of concern that speaking to the media could endanger him and his family.
“I still have to live here,” he said.
Roosevelt Watkins III is senior pastor of of Bethlehem Star Missionary Baptist Church, where the funeral was being held.
Watkins told ABC7 that he saw “pandemonium” outside after the gunfire started.
“People ducking under cars, running for their lives, for safety, running back inside of the church, trying to get out of harm’s way,” he said.
Witnesses told police four people in hoodies fled the scene after the shooting along with a green Toyota Camry and a blue minivan. One witness said people were “shooting from both sides of the street,” according to a police radio transmission.
Chicago has been no stranger to gun violence in recent years. Just last months a group of teens were shot just a few blocks away from where this church is located. The police in the city have increased their presence in the city since a funeral motorcade of a Latin Kings gang member was met with gunfire in 2004. Word is, funeral shootings are very common in the city.
Our condolences to Criss' family and friends.