West Side police district sees most shootings, killings for second straight weekend. ‘Challenges just keep coming,’ top cop says

“We’re doing a deeper dive to see what we can do in 11 (Harrison district) that works in some other places,” interim police Supt. Fred Waller said. “We are going to reformat some thinking and some strategies there.”

SHARE West Side police district sees most shootings, killings for second straight weekend. ‘Challenges just keep coming,’ top cop says
CPD Interim Supt. Fred Waller speaks about the efforts of CPD to curb violence over the summer at the Bright Star Trauma Helpline Center at Carter G. Woodson Middle School on the south side, Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

Interim Supt. Fred Waller speaks Tuesday at the Bright Star Trauma Helpline Center at Carter G. Woodson Middle School on the South Side about the efforts of the Chicago Police Department to curb violence this summer.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

The police district that surrounds Garfield Park on the West Side bore the brunt of gun violence over the long holiday weekend, and nowhere was that more evident than on a short stretch of Gladys Avenue.

A 17-year-old girl was killed and two other teens were wounded on a porch. A man was killed while riding in a car a block away. Another man was found shot to death four blocks to the east.

Across the park less than a mile away, a 14-year-old boy was killed and a 15-year-old boy was critically wounded. In all, 15 people were shot in the Harrison police district from Friday evening through early Tuesday. Five of them died.

Across the city, at least 75 people were shot over a weekend that celebrated Father’s Day and Juneteenth. At least 13 of them died. It was the most violent and deadliest weekend of the year, and the second consecutive weekend that the Harrison police district recorded the most people shot and the most people killed.

Interim police Supt. Fred Waller blamed much of the violence in the district on drugs and rival gangs, though he went out of his way to say the girl in critical condition “probably was not the target.”

Waller said the department is “reformatting some things” in the district but would not provide any additional details.

“11 (Harrison) has always been a challenging district,” Waller said Tuesday, repeating a description he gave last Monday.

“We’re doing a deeper dive to see what we can do in 11 that works in some other places,” Waller added. “11 is kind of a place where the challenges just keep coming. So we are going to reformat some thinking and some strategies there.”

Late Monday night, three teens were standing on a porch in the 3800 block of West Gladys Avenue when someone in a dark-colored sedan opened fire.

Shaniya Robinson, 17, was struck in the eye and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she died Tuesday afternoon, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Another girl, 17, was struck in the left leg and buttocks, and a 19-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the arm. Both were listed in good condition.

Despite the high weekend toll, Waller maintained that some of the department’s strategies have already been effective and insisted that “no one is feeling that this is a hopeless effort.

“Sometimes the improvements are behind the scenes and it’s a slow process,” he said.

Waller made his comments at the new Urban Resilience Network Center run by Bright Star Community Outreach. The superintendent said such initiatives will help build safe spaces in neighborhoods by providing free counselors and a hotline service.

“Gun violence can happen in a matter of seconds, but the trauma resulting from it can last a lifetime,” he said. “That’s why initiatives like this trauma center are so important.”

The center’s help hotline, 833-TURN-123, is available for anyone across the city who has experienced trauma or violence.

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