07 Jul

Chicago Shootings Over July 4th Weekend

Chicago Shootings Over July 4th Weekend Leave At Least 9 Dead, Dozens Wounded

The Huffington Post  | By

The O’Leary: In this crazy country gun violence is everywhere.

The July 4th weekend is always filled with the loud booms of fireworks. But in Chicago, residents are far more likely to hear the bangs of gunfire. More than 60 people were shot in the Windy City over the long holiday weekend, leaving at least nine people dead, ABC7 Chicago reported. The bloody weekend began around 2:30 a.m. Friday when a 34-year-old man was fatally shot in a drive-by. From there, the violence intensified. A teenager was shot in his car. A woman in her 60s was grazed in the head by a stray bullet while standing on her front porch. A man was struck by a falling bullet. A teen was standing on the sidewalk when her ex-boyfriend allegedly walked up and shot her in the legs. A man sitting in his car was killed when a gunman fired shots into the vehicle. A woman who was also sitting inside was injured by glass. Two people were killed and another three wounded in police-involved shootings. The shootings were so numerous this weekend that the Chicago Tribune ended up publishing a roundup of attacks, focusing on just a four-hour period Sunday afternoon. Tribune staff has been diligently following Chicagoland’s shootings, mapping the incidents and listing the most recent victims by date, gender, age and location. Since Jan. 1, more than 1,100 people have been shot in Chicago. Two years ago, when the city’s murder rate topped 500, authorities launched a campaign to turn the tide of this violent trend. According to ABC World News, hundreds of police officers have been dispatched to patrol dangerous neighborhoods and authorities have been working with community leaders to stem some of the gang activity. In 2013, this effort appeared to be working as homicides dropped to 415. But that rate was still higher than those of many major American cities, including New York City, which recorded less than 350 murders that same year. Police spokesman Martin Maloney told the Chicago Sun-Times that since Jan. 1, Chicago has had its lowest homicide rate since 1963. And the toll from violence over the July 4th holiday weekend was actually lower than last year when 12 men were killed and at least 60 others wounded, NBC Chicago reported. However, police also noted an 8 percent increase in shooting victims through the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2013. To those Chicagoans affected by shootings, the city has not done enough. “We’re celebrating independence, but we feel like we’re in prison,” Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church told ABC7. “It’s unacceptable. We wouldn’t accept it in Iraq, we shouldn’t accept it in Chicago.”

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