A man with an extensive criminal history including murder, attempted murder, and carjacking is now facing charges in connection to a mass shooting at a Halloween party in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.
The accused, William Groves, 48, of Chicago, a six-time convicted felon, is now facing 15 counts of attempted murder, ABC7 Chicago reported.
The attack took place last week at Studio 1258. Chicago police Superintendent Larry Snelling provided details of the incident.
Officials reported that Groves was among the 100 attendees at Studio 1258. After a ‘disturbance inside’ the venue, he was asked to leave the event. However, he later returned armed with a gun and began shooting.
Groves’ criminal record is extensive. In 2008, he was convicted of attempted murder. Additionally, he has been arrested for offenses such as murder, carjacking, kidnapping, and armed robbery. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon.
The victims of the shooting range in age from 26 to 53, comprising nine men and six women. While two of them are critically injured, the rest are in good-to-fair condition.
According to CNN, Groves is now facing 15 felony counts of aggravated battery with discharge of a firearm, one felony count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and one felony count of aggravated discharge of a firearm in an occupied building.
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One of the victims, Paris Brown, who goes by “Tree,” was shot in the back. He spoke with ABC7 on Tuesday from his hospital bed, saying the bullet traveled and is still lodged in his skull.
“People are on the floor. I couldn’t really move anywhere, so I just started feeling myself getting shot. So, I just drop on the ground, and I kept hearing the shooter shooting. It sounded like he was never going to stop,” Tree said.
Mayor Brandon Johnson and the other officials at Tuesday’s news conference all credit to the community with providing information that lead to a quick arrest.
Meanwhile, the event space, Studio 1258, will be closed under the city’s summary closure ordinance.
Authorities said the space has a history of unlicensed events. The party promoters say they did everything in their power to make sure the celebration was safe.
Superintendent Snelling emphasized, “He is a convicted felon who should not have had a gun.”
According to Everytown research, “Illinois has the seventh-strongest gun safety laws in the country and the ninth-lowest rate of gun ownership.”
“And yet, Illinois has the 9th highest rate of gun homicides in the country, and of all homicides in Illinois, 80% involve a gun,” per One Aim Illinois.
“Black individuals comprise nearly 50% of all firearm deaths in Illinois, even though Black individuals make up only 14.6% of the population,” it added.