At least 70 people were shot and at least 10 people were killed as violence continued to spike in Chicago, Illinois over the weekend. The city also reached a grim watermark: Chicago-area highway shootings are now at an “all-time high,” according to Chicago’s CBS affiliate.
Chicago continues to be wracked by violence despite city officials’ efforts to curb what they believe to be the problem: the illicit gun trade that brings weapons to Chicago from places like Indiana, where gun control laws are weaker.
“Chicago authorities on Monday said that 70 people were shot and 12 were killed amid another violent weekend in the city,” Fox News reported based on local information. “Chicago’s WLS-TV reported that the first fatal shooting occurred Friday when a gunman shot a man multiple times who was walking near the sidewalk in the city’s South Shore, Chicago police said.”
“The victim was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. His name has yet to be released,” the outlet continued.
Last week, the city suffered through at least three mass shootings in less than two days, leaving dozens wounded, including children. The weekend saw several more teenagers wounded in what is looking increasingly like gang cross-fire; at least three teens were wounded on Saturday alone.
Although the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Tribune have not released official numbers, it appears around 2,400 people have been shot in the city this year and nearly 450 have been killed. If those numbers hold, Chicago is on pace to beat its tally of gun violence victims from 2020 — one of the most violent years in recent memory.
The tally is especially notable given that many major cities are seeing a decrease from 2020, even if they are still seeing high numbers of shootings and homicides.
Among Chicago’s more noteworthy problems: highway shootings, which are on pace to be at an “all-time high” in 2021. On Thursday, there were two highway shootings on the same day, per Chicago’s Fox 32, one west of the city and one north of the city.
One highway leading through Chicago’s south side, the Dan Ryan Expressway, has seen at least 43 shootings this year alone, making it easily the most dangerous stretch of highway in the city. The latest shooting on the Dan Ryan was “the 134th expressway shooting this year,” according to Fox 32. “That number is already higher than the total in 2020.”
There were 128 highway shootings in all of 2020.
The situation is so bad that the Illinois State Police applied for and received a “$12.5 million grant from IDOT for the purchase and installation of automated license plate readers (ALPR), software, and specialized cameras to aid in the investigation of Cook County expressway shootings.”
Chicago’s police department announced last week that it was forming a 50-person special tactical unit to discover and intercept the flow of illegal weapons into Chicago. The task force was supposed to begin work last week, even though the influx of weapons into the Chicago area from places like Indiana long predates the city’s recent, shocking spike in violence.
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