Chicago's Holiday Weekend Saw 82 Shot, 14 Killed
The Fourth of July was hardly a time of celebration for Chicago residents this year: More than 60 people were shot in Chicago over the holiday weekend, leaving 11 dead as of Monday morning. Despite the Chicago Police Department's efforts to increase officer presence in more violent neighborhoods, this past holiday weekend will likely be remembered for the bloodshed. Although police spokesman Martin Maloney told the Chicago Sun Times that Chicago has seen its lowest homicide rate this year since 1963, it couldn't have felt further from the truth for residents this weekend.
The first shot was fired early Friday morning when two men, 34 and 35, were gunned down in a drive-by, which kicked off a string of unrelated incidents that had Chicago inhabitants feeling like they were living in a war zone.
"We're celebrating independence, but we feel like we're in prison," Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church, who has been outspoken about the city's gun violence, told ABC7. "It's unacceptable. We wouldn't accept it in Iraq, we shouldn't accept it in Chicago."
Back in 2012, when Chicago's murder rate surpassed 500 annually — making it the murder capital of the country — officials launched a campaign to reduce the violence. Hundreds of police officers have been dispatched to the city's more dangerous neighborhoods while authorities collaborate with community leaders to curb gang activity. Although these efforts brought the murder rate down to 415 in 2013, Chicago still saw more violence than other major cities like New York City, which recorded 350 homicides the same year.
Whether or not these numbers indicate a decrease in violence for Chicago, residents felt anything but peaceful this past weekend. Some of the incidents that occurred in the last three days alone...
- Friday, 5:18 a.m. — A 21-year-old man was shot in the thigh in the New City neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. He is in stable condition.
- Friday, 9:15 p.m. — A 40-year-old man was outside celebrating the Fourth of July when a stray bullet fell and struck him on the head. The man received stitches at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston and has been released.
- Friday, 10:50 p.m. — Three men were shot in the West Pullham neighborhood on Chicago's Far South Side. A 24-year-old was shot in the head, a 25-year-old was shot in the buttocks, and another 24-year-old was shot in the back. All three survived their injuries.
- Saturday, 1:00 a.m. — Another drive-by strikes, this time targeting two teenage boys. A 16-year-old and a 17-year-old were outside when a vehicle passed by and a passenger opened fire on them, wounding both boys in the shoulder. They are now in good condition.
- Saturday, 1:50 a.m. — A 35-year-old man was shot several times in the Little Village neighborhood and is now in critical condition.
- Saturday, 4:28 p.m. — Shaquille Ross, 18, was found in the West Englewood neighborhood with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and neck. He was later pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. According to police, Ross was a documented gang member.
- Saturday, 9:55 p.m. — A 19-year-old woman in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side was standing on the sidewalk when her ex-boyfriend walked up and shot her in both legs. She is in stable condition.
- Sunday, 12:20 a.m. — Kezon Lamb, 19, was sitting in a vehicle with a female when a man walked up and opened fire, killing the man. The female was not shot.
- Sunday, 2:43 p.m. — A 66-year-old woman was grazed by a bullet on the Far South Side.
- Sunday, 5:40 p.m. — Another shooting in the Austin neighborhood kills one man and wounds another. The two men were sitting in a car when a gunman walked up and fired shots.
- Sunday, 9:40 p.m. — A 23-year-old man was shot several times in the chest in the West Pullham neighborhood while standing on the corner. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.