The Chicago Police Department report at least 33 gang related shootings in Back of the Yards and Brighton Park over the past nine months have been tied to semi-automatic rifles as several gangs boost their firepower. At least 46 people have been shot in the attacks, 13 fatally.
Police say this is the only area of the city where rifles styled after AR-15s and AK-47s are regularly used, a menacing new development in the gang fights.
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It’s unclear how many of the high-powered rifles are on the street, but police suspect they are being passed around by members of four Hispanic gangs in the Deering police district, which covers parts of the South and Southwest sides.
Police have seized at least three rifles and have recovered rifle casings at dozens of crime scenes. There is also surveillance video showing rifles being used, according to investigators.