Chicago’s violent streak continued over the weekend, with 64 people shot and at least nine killed, including a 12-year-old boy who was shot by his mother after a disagreement about a memory card.
Although the number of shootings this past weekend fell short of the total seen across Labor Day weekend, this past weekend was deadlier than the holiday when only six people were killed. This past weekend also saw two mass shootings, one of which left a firefighter and his 15-year-old niece seriously wounded, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“At least 64 people were shot in Chicago over the weekend, including a 12-year-old boy killed by his mother, and an off-duty firefighter and his 15-year-old niece wounded in one of two mass shootings in the city, according to police,” the Sun-Times noted. “Several children were shot over the weekend. Two boys, 12 and 13, were wounded Friday night while standing on a front porch in the Austin neighborhood. Five shooting victims were 16 years old.”
In a shocking incident on the city’s south side, a woman fatally shot her 12-year-old son after the child was unable to produce a digital memory card that had allegedly gone missing from her car.
“Fallon Harris, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her son in the 8000 block of South Bennett Avenue,” Chicago’s ABC affiliate reported Monday. “Harris confronted the boy about 10:15 Saturday morning about the whereabouts of a digital memory card she had removed from her vehicle the previous night, according to Cook County State’s Attorney Eugene Wood. After he was unable to produce the memory card when his mother demanded it at gunpoint, she shot him, Wood said Sunday during Harris’ initial court appearance.”
In another incident, a firefighter and his niece were wounded in a mass shooting on the city’s west side — a shooting that left one woman dead and several others wounded. A separate report from the Sun-Times noted that the shooting happened in a neighborhood that is now home to some of the worst violence seen in decades — West Pullman — and which was, at one point, supposed to become a model for Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot’s anti-violence efforts.
“Murders are up about 40% from this time a year ago in the police district that covers West Pullman, rising from three to five,” the Sun-Times reported Monday. “Shootings are up about 35%, from 141 to 189. Other crime has also spiked: Sexual assaults are up 38%, aggravated battery up 11%. During the same time, murders are up 3.6% across the city, from 535 last year to 554 this year. Shootings are up 9.5%, from 2,909 last year to 3,185 this year. Compared to this time in 2019, shootings are up nearly 68%.”
“A year ago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a violence prevention plan that proposed flooding West Pullman and 14 other community areas with resources — not just violence intervention programs but help with jobs and housing and health,” the outlet said. “Yet West Pullman and six of the other areas have recorded more shootings since last year, according to Sun-Times data. The others are Great Grand Crossing, South Shore, East Garfield Park, Roseland, Englewood and Chicago Lawn.”
The promised resources — around $36 million for West Pullman alone — have yet to materialize in the neighborhood, according to a Sun-Times analysis.
Lightfoot pledged again, Monday, to address the rising crime, according to the Chicago Tribune, but remains focused on issues like income inequality and the illegal gun trade, which predate the current crisis of violence.
“A lot of what we’re experiencing right now is a result of ignoring systemic problems, not making the connections between the lack of investment and violence, and refusing for way too long in this city to address these problems, and the chickens are coming home to roost,” Lightfoot told the Tribune. “If you are in a neighborhood, as a young Black or brown man, and you do not see any hope, you don’t see that people care about you, that they’re not investing in you, you don’t see opportunity, that is the breeding ground for the kind of violent outbursts that we’re seeing.”
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