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One Dead, One Critical in Shooting During Funeral

By  Quinn Ford and Jen Sabella | November 26, 2012 2:00pm | Updated on November 27, 2012 6:32am

CHICAGO — One man is dead and another is in "extremely critical" condition after being shot Monday outside a packed Park Manor church during a funeral.

Sherman Miller, 21, of the 6900 block of South Stewart, was fatally shot in the 300 block of East 71st Street, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Rev. Corey Brooks, a South Side pastor who recently camped on top of an abandoned hotel to discourage violence in Woodlawn, tweeted that the shooting began after he preached at the funeral just after noon on Monday.

"I just preached a funeral and gunfire has broke out and I believe people have been shot," he tweeted. He later added: "Two people shot and it appears that one is dead."

Fire officials said both men were initially taken to Stroger Hospital in "extremely critical" condition.

Brooks said people were paying their final respects during a funeral at St. Columbanus Church, 331 E. 71st St., when four or five shots were heard from outside.

"I've seen a lot of things in my life, but this has probably been the toughest, the most heart-wrenching," Brooks told reporters after the shooting.

Rev. Dwayne Mason, a funeral director at AA Rayner & Sons across the street from the church, said the crowd of 1,000 mourners panicked when shots rang out.

"It was so fast, the crowd was in panic mode," Mason said. "They be trying to find their loved ones and make sure they're okay, that they weren't hurt."

The funeral was for James Holman, a 32-year-old Washington Park man killed last week. Witnesses said Monday that Holman was killed over a disagreement with a girl.

Police said both victims of Monday's shooting were convicted felons with gang ties.

Brooks said he was shocked to see this kind of violence happen at a church.

"If you can't stop the violence on the South Side of Chicago, if you can't stop the violence in front of a church, then it's going to spread like a cancer," he said.