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As life in Chicago largely comes to a halt, shootings continue on South, West sides

As of Sunday evening, 10 people had been gunned down in weekend shootings across the city, one of them fatally.

Three people were shot since 5 p.m. May 28, 2021.
A Chicago police officer investigates the scene of a shooting.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times file photo

Shortly after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced his order for Illinois residents to stay at home in his boldest attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, gunshots rang out in the West Pullman neighborhood.

A 25-year-old man was walking east about 4:20 p.m. Friday in the 11500 block of South Perry when one of the bullets pierced his neck, according to Chicago police. He was rushed to Roseland Hospital in good condition as officers began investigating.

While life for many Chicagoans has come to a grinding halt as many businesses and all schools have been forced to close in the wake of the rising COVID-19 crisis, shootings continued to plague communities on the South and West sides.

As of 6:50 p.m. Sunday, 10 people had been gunned down in weekend shootings across the city, one of them fatally. Last year, four people were killed and 10 others were wounded in shootings over the course of the same weekend.

“Our response is identical to what it was a year ago,” police spokesman Anthony Gugielmi told the Sun-Times. “We will not diminish our ability to respond to violence in the city because we have a crime fight that we’re in right now, and every single day it’s very important to us to try to make the city safer.”

As of 4 a.m. Sunday, the city had tallied 442 shootings and 90 homicides so far this year.

The sole weekend homicide happened about 12:50 a.m. Sunday, when a 30-year-old man was shot multiple times in the 3100 block of South Benson in Bridgeport, police reported.

Guglielmi said the fatal shooting appears to be gang-related, and a gun was recovered at the scene. It’s unclear whether the weapon belonged to the victim, according to Guglielmi, who said he was a known gang member and convicted gun offender.

Two people who were seen driving away from the scene at a high rate were later pulled over and taken in for questioning, though no formal arrests have been made in any of the weekend shootings.

That attack was the first since Pritzker’s stay-at-home order took effect Saturday at 5 p.m.

No one has been arrested or issued a citation in connection with the order, which Guglielmi said will only happen when individuals fail to comply with multiple warnings or “get physical” with police.

Though Guglielmi said he expects to see an uptick in gun arrests and seizures during street stops related to the governor’s order, he noted that officers are “not looking to arrest the entire city of Chicago.”

“We are not trying to make this a police issue. This is very much a public health issue,” he said. “In order to stop the spread of this virus, we’ve got to contain it.”