Chicago violence leaves 66 shot, 8 dead during July 4th holiday
The US city of Chicago has celebrated a bloody Fourth of July weekend, with gunmen shooting at least 66 people, 8 of them fatally.
Gang crime and gun violence plagued most parts of the South and West sides from Friday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon, according to data kept by the Tribune.
Only on Tuesday, at least 1 person was shot killed and 6 others were wounded, authorities said.
At about 5:15 pm, a 21-year-old man was fatally shot in his car by a passing gunman. He “was parked in a vehicle was not the intended target,” according to information police provided.
This comes as the Chicago Police Department took on about 1,300 police officers to work each day since Friday to patrol those neighborhoods and other areas where violence is high.
Shootings persisted in Englewood and Harrison, two of the city’s traditionally most violent districts, in spite of a new crime-fighting initiative which helps officers better detect where gunshots are coming from and enable them to respond more quickly.
The shooting toll at this time of the year was higher than that of last year, though direct comparisons are not easy to make because the holiday fell on a Tuesday this year.
Over the 2016 holiday weekend, four people were shot dead and 46 others were injured in 42 shooting incident and a stabbing, according to police, which added seven were killed and 40 wounded over the 2015 July Fourth weekend.
About the total shooting toll so far this year, the city had 323 homicides, one more than the same period last year.
“Listen, it could always be better but I can assure that CPD is doing everything we can to make sure the remainder of the holiday weekend goes well,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson told reporters on Tuesday.
“While any level of violence remains unacceptable, CPD officers are working on the streets in force to keep residents and visitors safe in every neighborhood,” Johnson added.
He said that at least 58 people were “taken off the streets” of the city’s South and West Sides for crimes that include narcotics trafficking.
Gang and gun violence has been a big problem in the city, although the Chicago Police Department is the third-largest in the country with more than 12,000 employees.