CHICAGO (Reuters) - Seven people were shot and wounded early Thursday morning at a party at a Chicago nightclub in an incident that police said may have been gang related.
All seven were in stable condition after being treated at local hospitals after being shot during what appeared to be a dispute between two rival gangs at Mr. G’s Supper Club and Entertainment Center on the city’s south side, said Chicago police spokesman John Mirabelli.
The wounded included a 19-year-old woman and six men aged 21 to 36.
Promotional posters indicate local rap artists ‘Lil Mouse, King Samson and Nino performed at the event, according to news reports.
One man who has at the party said Samson was not involved in the shooting.
“We didn’t have anything to do with what’s going on,” said Justin Lewis, who identified himself as Samson’s manager. “We were toward the back when everything was happening. I guess it happened toward the front.”
Representatives of ‘Lil Mouse and Nino could not be reached for immediate comment.
‘Lil Mouse recently faced criticism for a music video he produced last year when he was 13 years old that featured strong language and showed people waving guns in the camera.
Fighting among gangs has claimed a mounting toll of lives in some predominantly African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods of Chicago over the last year. Chicago surpassed 500 homicides last year for the first time since 2008.
A high school girl who performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, Hadiya Pendleton, was gunned down earlier this year at a park about a mile away from the Obama’s Chicago home. Her death focused national attention on Chicago’s murder rate, and First Lady Michelle Obama attended her funeral.
Editing by Scott Malone and Andrew Hay