Chicago may be heading for a violent summer.
Over the weekend, dozens of people were shot and seven were killed in gun violence that spanned the city — a continuation of a trend that has dogged Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, since last summer.
Fox News reports that “more than 45 people were shot, including a 14-year-old boy, and seven were killed in Chicago citywide over the weekend,” according to the Chicago Police Department.
“There were 36 shootings reported from 6 p.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, while at least two others were stabbed, including one victim who succumbed to his injuries, Chicago Police Department said. Information released by the authorities so far indicates the slain victims ranged in age from 17 to 37,” Fox added.
The youngest victim who died was shot while driving on Sunday. He crashed his car after sustaining a bullet wound. The youngest victim who survived was just 14 years old.
“Of the 46 people shot, the youngest victim to survive, a 14-year-old boy, was on the sidewalk in the city’s Grand Crossing neighborhood shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday when he was shot in the hand and calf and also suffered a graze wound to his head, police said. He was taken to a local children’s hospital and police are still looking for his attacker,” Fox said.
Twelve of the 45 people shot over the weekend were targeted during a very violent two-hour span Saturday night.
Chicago has been suffering through a spike in gun violence since last May, following the release of COVID-19-related lockdown and after national anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests that appear to have led to a decline in aggressive policing. The toll was high in 2020 — the highest the city has seen since 2016 when then the south and west sides were deep into a gang war — but 2021 is already shaping up to be worse.
According to Chicago’s Fox affiliate, Fox 32, the city is already closing in on 200 homicides, and it’s only April.
“Nearly twice as many people were shot in Chicago this past weekend as the previous one, with homicides closing in on the 200 mark just four months into the year,” the outlet reported Monday. “To date this year, at least 1,040 people have been shot in Chicago and there have been at least 195 homicides.”
This April was only slightly less deadly than the previous one — five fewer people were killed in April 2021 as compared to April 2020 — but only because fewer people died as a direct result of a gunshot wound.
“Statistics included in a news release from the Chicago Police Department reveal that a troubling rise in gun violence this year shows little sign of slowing down. The city had five fewer homicides this April than last April, but the number of shooting victims increased to 299 from 225,” WGN News noted last week. “So far this year, 997 people have been shot, compared with 718 last year. The city has had 87 homicides — 31 more than during the same period last year.”
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