Shootings Skyrocket In Chicago During Stay-At-Home Order
Chicago, IL – Easter weekend was a bloodbath in Chicago with three people fatally shot and another 19 wounded by gunfire across the city.
Only a few days earlier, 13 people were murdered – 11 by gunfire - and another 25 were shot between 7 p.m. on April 5 and 9:30 p.m. on April 7, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
On April 7 alone, seven people were fatally shot and 12 were wounded in the city's deadliest day of the year thus far.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Acting Police Superintendent Charlie Beck held a press conference on April 8 to address the sharp uptick in crime, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“This violence has to stop,” Superintendent Beck said. “There are two pandemics that face Chicago — and only one of them is virus-induced.”
As of April 7, there had been 550 shootings in Chicago in 2020, up 64 from the same time last year, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a “stay at home” order on March 20 for the entire state of Illinois.
Pritzker called a halt to all non-essential business and operations and deployed the Illinois National Guard to help set up testing sites and other needed facilities across the state.
Lightfoot expressed outrage that crime rates had continued to climb during the stay-at-home order.
“In the middle of this worldwide pandemic, our precious health resources need to be treating COVID-19 patients and those needing acute care,” the mayor said. “Every day we are measuring our precious health care resources. The number of beds we have in hospitals, ICU capacity. To be blunt, if our ICUs are filled with gunshot victims, our ability to respond to this… crisis will necessarily be compromised.”
She said the violence was “never acceptable. Never, ever. … Shooting into crowds without any regard for the consequences is the most heinous form of cowardice,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“Just this week, we talked about the disproportionate burden that black Chicago is facing with infections and death related to COVID-19,” Lightfoot said. “These same communities continue to be plagued by gun violence. I’m here to say enough, enough, enough.”
The mayor “directed the Police Department to spare no expense or resource to bring the perpetrators to justice,” but said they were hampered in their investigations by the lack of witnesses willing to come forward, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“This is especially urgent now as our ability to treat all Chicagoans is being stretched to the breaking point,” Lightfoot said. “We cannot allow this to happen. People know who the shooters are. You know who you are. These cowards cannot be given any shelter.”
Superintendent Beck lamented a dire situation that was soon to be inherited by the incoming superintendent, former Dallas Police Chief David Brown, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“Every one of those ER beds taken up by a gunshot victim could be somebody’s grandmother, somebody with pre-existing conditions, somebody that is in danger of losing their life because of the pandemic,” Beck told reporters. “Every one of those cops — and there are dozens — that are pulled off the street in order to work one of these crimes cannot enforce social distancing, can’t do security at our public safety and our health safety venues. They can’t watch over your home, and they can’t watch over your children.”
There were 22,025 Illinois residents who had tested positive for coronavirus as of April 13, with 794 fatalities, according to Bing’s COVID-19 Tracker.
There are 15,474 cases in Cook County where Chicago is located, and 543 people have died there.