Chicago police are investigating what looks to be one of the city’s most brazen gun crimes in an already difficult year: the shooting death of a Chicago-based rapper in broad daylight, just a block away from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district.
Officers, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, are also bracing for what could be a burgeoning gang war.
FBG Duck, whose real name is Carlton Weekly, “was shot Tuesday afternoon on Oak Street after two men jumped out of cars and opened fire,” the Sun-Times said. Weekly “was on social media antagonizing rival gang members before he was killed Tuesday afternoon, according to an officer safety alert issued late Tuesday.”
Oak Street intersects with Michigan Avenue – the Magnificent Mile shopping district, a top destination for tourists visiting Chicago – and is home to some of the city’s high-end boutiques. The shooting happened in the afternoon, around 4:30 pm local time.
Of larger concern, Weekly’s affiliation with one of the city’s oldest and largest street gangs, and whether Weekly’s death could be the triggering event for a gang war. Weekly “belonged to a Gangster Disciples faction and police believe it may now seek retaliation against the Black Disciples across the South Side,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
Weekly had recently posted a video on Instagram “where he made derogatory statements toward deceased members of the Black Disciples,” the outlet added.
“Officers in at least four police districts — Wentworth, Grand Crossing, Gresham and Englewood — have been warned to use ‘extreme caution’ because of the ‘high probability of further violence,’ according to an advisory issued by the Police Department,” the Tribune notes. “Intelligence suggests that both these gangs are in possession of large caliber and high capacity firearms.”
Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, addressed the situation in a press conference on Tuesday, noting that Weekly had been live-streaming his travels around the city, and it appears assassins caught up with him while shopping with his entourage.
Weekly, she said, was “an individual who fancies himself as a rapper but also is a member of a gang.”
“What we’re seeing is a manifestation of a larger problem, which is that way too many young men — particularly young men of color — have access to guns and are willing to use those guns to settle petty grievances,” Lightfoot added, continuing a trend of blaming Chicago’s increasing violence on lenient gun laws in places other than Illinois.
Chicago has seen a 50% increase in its murder rate since late May when the city released coronavirus-related lockdown restrictions. Although crime is down in the city generally – by about 9% overall – murders and shootings are up, NBC News Chicago reports, and many of those murders and shootings are driven by gang violence.
“Six months into the year, 329 people have been killed in Chicago, an increase of about 34% from the 246 homicides during the same period last year, according to police. Shootings in that period rose by about 42%, from 978 in 2019 to 1384 in 2020,” NBC notes. “Shootings across the city increased by 75% last month alone, with 424 shootings in June 2020 compared to 242 in June 2019, according to police statistics. Murders in Chicago rose by 78%, with 89 reported in June 2020 compared to 50 in the same month last year.”