23 charged in major Chicago gangs case; alleges 11 killings

CHICAGO — Authorities announced Friday that 23 suspects have been charged in a major Chicago street-gangs case that includes at least 11 killings.

The suspects, based in the Englewood neighborhood on the city's South Side, face both federal and state charges, said Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

The goal was to bring the most serious charges, he said, so local police officers were paired with FBI agents. Also, state prosecutors were deputized as federal prosecutors so they could file both state and federal charges.

U.S. Attorney John Lausch and Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly Foxx were among those scheduled to speak about the charges Friday.

Chicago has some 60 gangs, with several hundred factions within them, and police often link homicides in the city to gang activity. Authorities say taunts on social media often prompt violence.

Social media and apparent gang retaliation played a role in separate shootings this week.

Guglielmi said Friday there was a "high probability" that an attack that wounded five people Wednesday was in retaliation for a shooting during a funeral Monday in which an aspiring rapper was shot in the head and five other people were injured.

Wednesday's attack was in Washington Park and Monday's was in Burnside — neighborhoods that are also on the South Side. Disputes between the Black Disciple and Gangster Disciple gangs have long underpinned violence in those areas. Taunts on social media and in raps songs help fuel tensions.

Police had warned that retaliation was likely after the Monday attack in which 21-year-old rapper Marvel "FBG Wooski" Williams was shot in the head. Williams, who is known for challenging rivals in rap songs, was in stable condition Monday after surgery.

No arrests have been made in either shooting.