Police: Chicago-area Halloween party shooting gang-related

Nov 1, 2021, 10:26 AM | Updated: 9:30 pm

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Police said Monday that a shooting at a suburban Chicago Halloween party that left two people dead and nine others injured appeared to be gang related.

The Will County Sheriff’s Office updated the number of people hospitalized after Sunday’s early morning shooting. Preliminary reports said more than a dozen people were injured, but a spokeswoman said Monday afternoon that a total of nine people were hospitalized for injuries connected to the shooting in addition to those who died. One person remained in critical condition and three remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Five others were treated and released.

“Multiple gunshots were fired during the incident. It appears that this incident was gang related,” the office said in a news release. “Detectives have collected a substantial amount of evidence and are continuing to interview witnesses. Some victims and partygoers are being uncooperative.”

The party was initially intended for a group of about 50 family members and friends, relatives of the hosts said. But social media posts promoting the party drew hundreds from surrounding communities, according to a news release from the Will County Sheriff’s Office.

Earlier Monday, a coroner has identified the man and woman who died as Holly Matthews and Jonathan Ceballos, both 22 and Joliet residents. They each sustained a single gunshot wound and died early Sunday at the party that drew about 200 people. The party was at a residence in Joliet, which is about 45 miles (70 kilometers) from Chicago.

“She was just a young girl in a costume for a Halloween party. Lost her life for no reason. Absolutely no reason,” Holly Matthews’ father, Stephen Matthews, told WLS-TV.

Police were seeking tips from the public in finding two suspected shooters who fled from the scene and were also seeking witnesses or anyone who may have video or photographs from the party.

Those attending ranged in age from their teens to mid-20s, The (Joliet) Herald-News reported.

The sheriff’s department said witnesses indicated that two people fired shots from a porch overlooking the crowd in a home’s backyard. The shots were fired from near a DJ booth that was set up.

The spray of bullets wounded 10 people, while others were hospitalized for injuries suffered when they were trampled in the rush to get away, police said.

“As soon as they started shooting, people just started running,” said Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Dan Jungles. He noted that deputies recovered several personal items such as car keys, cellphones and purses that were left behind.

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Police: Chicago-area Halloween party shooting gang-related