At least five people are dead after a shocking weekend of violence in Chicago, Illinois, that also saw two separate mass shootings that left at least a dozen people wounded.
Chicago’s CBS affiliate reported Monday that at least 77 people were shot over the weekend in a number of incidents, including two multi-victim mass shootings that left 17 people wounded and 2 dead.
“At least seven of the surviving victims” from this weekend’s violence “were 17 or younger.”
“Late Sunday night, the Fire Department said eight people were struck, one fatally, in a mass shooting at 63rd Street and Artesian Avenue in Chicago Lawn” on the city’s South Side, CBS Chicago reported. “The shooting happened at 10:53 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Artesian Avenue, police said. The Fire Department called an EMS Plan 2 for the shooting, sending 10 ambulances to the scene.”
“Also Sunday night, a mass shooting on 71st Street near Clyde Avenue in South Shore left a woman dead and five others wounded. Police said at 8:44 p.m., a woman and four men were all standing outside when a black sport-utility vehicle passed by and someone inside shot them all,” the outlet continued. “The woman was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition and was later pronounced dead there after being shot six times.”
The Chicago Police Department says no one is yet in custody in connection with either mass shooting.
The number of people shot over the weekend is increasing, Monday, as victims present themselves for treatment. Regardless, the incidents last weekend quickly outpaced the violence seen during the same weekend last year — at the beginning of the city’s spike in violence. During the same weekend in 2020, 47 people were shot, but the shooters did more damage: 20 people died of their wounds.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown unveiled a plan to curb summer violence late in May, focusing on 15 key beats across the city where gun violence, specifically, has spiked. Chicago’s NBC affiliate reported that “[a]ccording to the Chicago Police Department, shootings in Chicago are up this year. There have been 1,402 shootings reported, a 15% increase over last year, and 1,715 people have been shot, an 18% increase.”
Last week, however, Lightfoot admitted that the city could not handle the spike in violence on its own and appealed to the Biden White House for help.
President Joe Biden revealed, also last week, that the White House would be focusing on curbing the transport and sale of illegal guns and finding Chicago teens summer jobs to keep them off the street, according to NBC Chicago.
“The federal government will deploy a group of so-called “strike forces” to major cities, aiming to increase enforcement on [illicit] gun dealers, and to try to cut down on illegal gun trafficking,” the outlet noted. “More funding for law enforcement was included in the proposal, along with enhanced technological cooperation between local police and the FBI. Biden also promised that community-based anti-violence programs would be part of the plan, and cited Chicago programs as examples of what he intends to promote.”
Chicago’s illicit gun trade, however, has been a problem for some time — a study, conducted in 2017, revealed that a significant percentage of guns used in crime inside the city of Chicago came from outside the state of Illinois, often from neighboring Indiana — but the number of shootings has increased exponentially through 2020 and 2021. Last year, alone, there were more than 3,200 shootings.