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‘Out of Control’ Shootings at Gang Funerals Continue to Rise in Chicago

Followed by mourners, Antonio Brown and Amber Hailey accompany the casket of their 7-year-old son, Amari Brown, on a horse-drawn carriage at the Oakridge-Glen Oak cemetery in Hillside, Ill., on Saturday, July 11, 2015. Police say Amari was celebrating July 4 at his father's home on Chicago's West Side when …
AP/Christian K. Lee

Chicago-area police are fighting a losing battle to stop gun battles from erupting during gang members’ funerals as street gangs have kicked up their bloody warfare to yet another degree.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart called a meeting of local politicians, religious leaders, funeral home owners, and others to discuss measures to safeguard mourners and to try and craft policies to stop the growing number of attacks between rival gangs during funerals, Fox News reported.

Dart noted that the attacks have become more frequent in the last few years as gang warfare continues to spin out of control in the Windy City.

“It’s getting out of control, it really is,” Hillside Police Chief Joseph Lukaszek said. “The gangs just think that it’s a safe haven for them and they do whatever they want to do.”

The chief even noted that in December he rammed his service vehicle into a car carrying three gang members suspected of shooting into a funeral party. All three occupants of the vehicle were later found armed with pistols.

“I could see a gun in the driver’s hand,”Lukaszek said of the incident at the time. “He was holding the gun in one hand, the steering wheel with the other, and I just thought we have to end it.”

John McCall, a Chicago funeral director, told Fox 32 that he is seeing an increase of armed mourners at funerals. “It is dramatic for the families and very dramatic even for the funeral directors,” he said.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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