CHICAGO - Two people were shot dead and 13 others wounded at a Park Manor business where a party was being held early Sunday.
A fight broke out between several people attending the party about 4:40 a.m. at 6798 South Chicago Avenue.
The victims ranged in age from 20 to 44 years old. The two who were killed were Rayneesha Dotson, 30, and Lionel Darling, 39.
Two people were critically wounded in the shooting, and three more were in serious condition, police said. The rest of the wounded victims were listed in good condition.
A photo of the scene shared by the fire department showed balloons and a shoe strewn outside the South Side Think Tank, at 6798 S. South Chicago Ave.
Officers placed at least 10 evidence markers outside the building, but most investigators appeared to examining the inside of the business. There appeared to be a pool of blood on the sidewalk near the door of the building.
"Two blocks away there is a police department and still 15 people got shot," said community activist Ja'Mal Green on Sunday afternoon. "Funding mental health, funding community centers, job opportunities, we have to tackle what's really going on and not fund police. That is not our solution."
Green said that it's likely the shooting started because someone had made someone else mad, or offended someone else.
"This is not the time where it's just a bunch of gangs beefing over drugs and money and territory," Green said. "These are situations where people don't have conflict resolution skills. These situations can be prevented if we invested in what is the reality in these neighborhoods."
The shooting was one of the most violent, in terms of number of people hurt, in recent Chicago memory. Last July, 15 people were shot outside a Gresham funeral home, but no one died.
In 2013, a mass shooting wounded 13 people, including a 3-year-old boy, in Cornell Park near 51st and Wood in Back of the Yards.
Last December, six people were hurt after gunfire broke out at an overnight party in a South Side salon in the Burnside neighborhood.
So far this year, officers have responded to 393 shooting incidents across the city through March 7, according to police statistics. That’s a 31% increase over the same period last year, which saw 301 shooting incidents.
Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.