Two Shot At Chicago Funeral For James Holman: Gang Violence Suspected In Killings

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | November 28, 2012 5:26 AM EST

In a brazen attack, two people were shot at a funeral for reputed Chicago gang member James Holman on Monday.

Sherman Miller, 21, was killed in the funeral shooting at St. Columbanus Church in Chicago, while Deonte Ousley, 26, was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, NBC News reported.

Police said both victims were “convicted felons and had a gang affiliation,” according to NBC News.

Witnesses reported seeing a gunman shoot the two victims as they left the church for Holman’s burial.

“Can you imagine 1,200 people in a church and everybody’s running? It was awful. We had babies crying,” witness Deborah Echols Moore told CBS 2 Chicago.

The Rev. Corey Brooks, who is running to succeed retiring congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, spoke at the funeral for Holman, who was 32.

“I preached that we have a great need for God and peace in our neighborhoods,” Brooks said before describing how the shooting incident unfolded.

“It was crazy,” Brooks told CBS 2 Chicago. “It was the worst thing you could imagine. People were running, screaming, trying to get safe. When people were going out the door, they saw the bodies.”

Deborah Echols-Moore, a 59-year-old employee of the Chicago Transit Authority, said a woman knocked her over and fell on her. She was forced to leave the church barefoot following the shooting.

“When I came outside, you still can hear shooting. Boom! Boom! Boom! I still ran … people was running behind me,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “You didn’t know which way to go or what to do. All I knew to do was run for my life.”

The paper reported that Miller and Ousley were members of the Gangster Disciples, a ruthless street gang that is prominent in Chicago.

Members of the gang account for more than 25 percent of Chicago’s 470 murder victims, according to the Tribune.

Holman, whom police also said was a member of the Gangster Disciples, was shot and killed last week in what police were calling gang retaliation.

The motive for the second shooting is unclear, although it is also believed to be gang-related, according to CBS Chicago.

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