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Gun violence in Chicago sharply up from last year as 48 people are shot over the weekend, at least 6 of them fatally

A 2-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy were among those wounded, as well as two uniformed Chicago police officers.

Chicago police investigate a shooting near Dearborn Street and Grand Avenue, May 15, 2021. At least 48 people were shot, six fatally, over the weekend in Chicago.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Chicago was hit with its most violent weekend of the year, with a 2-year-old girl, a 13-year-old boy and two Chicago police officers among 48 people who were shot.

At least six of those people were killed: Two men in their 20s at a party in Gresham; another man shot dead at a gas station in West Garfield Park; and a man found dead on the Northwest Side after police arrested a wounded man with a rifle.

The number of people shot was almost double what it was the previous weekend, when five people were killed and 21 others hurt in gun violence across the city. This past weekend had the highest number of shooting victims so far this year, according to Sun-Times records.

As of Monday morning, at least 1,187 people had been shot in the city this year and there have been at least 214 homicides. That’s a sharp rise from last year, when 886 were shot over the same period and there were 187 homicides.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot acknowledged the “hard weekend” and renewed her call for the Biden administration to push “common sense gun reform” and provide federal help in busting gun trafficking.

“What we want is to see a decrease in the number of illegal firearms, particularly available to kids,” she said. “We’re seeing too many petty fights playing out on social media ending up with somebody, a kid, pulling a gun. Too many instances in which children are in the cars with adults…They get shot at and who gets shot? The child.

“Enough. It has got to be enough,” she added. “But it depends upon us stepping up and saying, `We are not going to tolerate this anymore in our city.’ We need federal support to really make a meaningful difference. And I’m hoping that the Biden administration not only listens to me, but is listening to mayors all across the country who are struggling with the same challenges. We need to have common sense gun reform. Period.”

During an unrelated news conference held to showcase summer jobs and other recreational and educational “opportunities” for young people, Lightfoot said she has urged her longtime friend, U.S. Attorney John Lausch, to form a “multi-jurisdictional task force on gun trafficking and straw purchasing.”

“That is something…that the federal government is uniquely qualified to do. I know they’re doing something. But, it needs to be bigger. It needs to be bolder. Because every single day, lives depend on it,” Lightfoot said.

As for the traditional summer surge of violence, Lightfoot said City Hall and the Chicago Police Department have been planning for months, “following the data” and using the “whole of government approach” to Chicago’s “most challenged” neighborhoods.

“Not only is the Police Department going to be placing additional emphasis on some of those places. Every single city department… has been working…for weeks to understand the assets and opportunities we have on the ground and flooding those areas with support and resources primarily focused on our young people but also their families,” she said.

“If you’re really gonna get to the nub of the problems that create violence, you’ve got to look at the source. And what we see across many of these communities that are plagued by violence is the absence of. The absence of resources and jobs and hope. Our goal is to be present in a tangible way with resources in these communities so that we are showing the residents that the’yre not alone. That they’ve not been abandoned that we are there for them…We’ve got to strengthen these communities by flooding them with resources.”

Earlier in the day, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said his department has been working — for several months — on plans for a potentially violent summer. He said he’s moving commanders in nine of the city’s historically most violent police districts from 9-to-5 to swing shifts.

“With all that pent-up energy because we’ve been in quarantine explodes, with all of the people being out . . .we want to make sure it’s safe,” he said.

Girl shot while riding in car

Among the first shootings of the weekend was the wounding of a 2-year-old as she sat in the back seat of a car in the 2800 block of West 26th Street. A car pulled up and someone inside started shooting about 6:55 p.m. Friday, Chicago police said.

She was hit in the leg and taken by the driver to Mount Sinai Hospital in good condition, according to police.

A 2-year-old girl was shot May 14, 2021 in Little Village.
A 2-year-old girl was shot May 14, 2021 in Little Village.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

13-year-old boy critically hurt

The boy was on the sidewalk about 7:55 a.m. Sunday in the 3700 block of South Wood Street when a car approached and someone inside opened fire, police said.

He was struck in the head and neck and taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, police said.

Chicago police officers shot

Two Chicago police officers were shot and the suspected gunman was wounded during an exchange of gunfire Sunday morning in Lawndale on the West Side.

The officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert about 7:20 a.m. in the 1400 block of South Lawndale Avenue and saw a 45-year-old man in an alley nearby, Brown said outside Mount Sinai Hospital, where the officers were treated and released.

When the officers approached, the person “immediately began firing a gun at the officers,” Brown said.

Chicago police Supt. David Brown and Mayor Lightfoot speak to reporters outside Mt. Sinai Hospital after two officers were shot May 16, 2021, in Lawndale.
Chicago police Supt. David Brown and Mayor Lightfoot speak to reporters outside Mt. Sinai Hospital after two officers were shot May 16, 2021, in Lawndale.
Sophie Sherry/Sun-Times

One officer was struck in the hand and the second in the leg and shoulder, above the vest, Brown said. Both were “stable, recovering and in good condition,” he added.

The suspected gunman was also shot in the “lower extremities,” according to Brown.

No charges had been announced by Monday morning.

Rapper Lil Reese, 2 other men shot

Rapper Lil Reese and two others were shot during a gunfight Saturday at a parking garage on a busy Near North Side block.

The men were “all shooting at each other” about 9:50 a.m. inside a parking garage in the first block of West Grand Avenue, according to police.

Two men, 27 and 28, were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police said. The younger man was struck multiple times and was in critical condition, while the older man was grazed in the eye and was in fair condition.

Chicago police investigate a shooting near Dearborn Street and Grand Avenue, May 15, 2021.
Chicago police investigate a shooting near Dearborn Street and Grand Avenue, May 15, 2021.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

A police source said one of the wounded men was rapper Lil Reese, whose legal name is Tavares Taylor.

A third man, 20, was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition with two gunshot wounds to his knee, police said.

Man killed in possible drive-by in Chicago Lawn

The 24-year-old man was shot by someone, possibly in a silver sedan, as he stood outside with a group of people about 12:40 a.m. in the 6300 block of South Campbell Avenue, police said. He was struck in the upper chest and taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where he died.

Fatal shooting in Woodlawn

A 21-year-old man was shot dead Saturday afternoon in Woodlawn on the South Side. About 2:45 p.m., he was in the 1300 block of East Marquette Road when someone opened fire, striking him multiple times, police said.

The man was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

5 shot, 2 fatally, at Gresham party

Early Saturday morning, two people were killed and three others wounded in a shooting at a party in Gresham on the South Side.

Several people were at a gathering in the 7800 block of South Loomis Boulevard when a gunman opened fire shortly after 3 a.m., according to police.

A 26-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead, police said.

A 21-year-old was also struck in the head and taken to the same hospital, where he later died, police said.

A 25-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder and was also taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, police said.

Another man, 23, suffered two gunshot wounds to the right arm and was transported to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition, police said. A fifth man, 21, was struck in the shoulder and listed in fair condition at the same hospital, according to police.

Man shot to death at gas station

A person was found shot to death about an hour later at a gas station in West Garfield Park.

He was found about 4:05 a.m. in the parking lot of a gas station in the 400 block of South Kostner Avenue with a gunshot wound to the chest, police said. He was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

1 killed, 1 critically hurt in Belmont Cragin

Friday night, a man was killed and another injured in a shooting in Belmont Cragin on the Northwest Side.

About 11:50 p.m., officers heard several shots fired and saw an 18-year-old man running with a rifle in the 6200 block of West Diversey Avenue, police said.

Officers placed him under arrest and noticed he had two gunshot wounds to the back and one to the arm, police said. He was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition.

While searching the area, officers also found a 32-year-old man on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head, police said. He was taken to the same hospital where he was later pronounced dead, police said.

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