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Police on alert in gang-hit Chicago neighbourhood where seven were killed

Police are on high alert in a Chicago neighbourhood where seven people were killed in a 12-hour period.

The gun violence in the South Side area was mostly due to gang conflict, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

On Thursday afternoon, four people were shot dead in or near a restaurant after a man approached and opened fire.

Two men were found dead from bullet wounds inside the restaurant, a third person was found unresponsive outside the restaurant, and a fourth man was found a block away.

Two people were killed later on Thursday when a vehicle pulled alongside a van in the South Shore neighbourhood. A man and woman were shot, police said, and the van crashed into a pole.

"I'm angry and sick," Mr Johnson said during a news conference. "You have my promise that Chicago Police Department will utilise the full weight of our resources to go after the individuals responsible for yesterday's incidents."

He said investigators have determined most of the victims were targeted and had known gang affiliations, but the woman's killing was not gang related.

Mr Johnson said there will be a heavy and aggressive police presence in the South Shore neighbourhood until the perpetrators are in custody.

He added that co-ordinated police operations will target the people who are driving the violence and where retaliatory violence may occur.

"You lose count of the shootings after a while," said Kyra Carr, who lives a few blocks away and heard the gunfire. " But seven bodies in a day. Crazy. Something is wrong."

Cook County medical examiner's office identified three of the victims as brothers Raheem and Dillon Jackson, aged 19 and 20, and 28-year-old Emmanuel Stokes.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the Jacksons' grandmother, Georgia Jackson, 72, said the two had gone to the restaurant to get food and to see their mother, who works there. She said their mother called her about the shooting.

"She only said one at first but when I got here they said they found the other," Georgia Jackson said.

Also on Thursday, about a mile from the restaurant, the body of 26-year-old Patrice L Calvin was discovered in a home. The medical examiner's office said Ms Calvin, who was four months pregnant, had suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

Mr Johnson said the woman probably knew her killer, and her death was not gang related.

No arrests have been reported by police.

AP

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