Weekend Chicago Shootings Leave 7 Dead, 46 Wounded
Chicago, IL – Seven people were killed and 46 more were wounded in shootings in Chicago over the weekend.
Twenty-five of those people were shot in a four-hour period on Sunday morning in the 10th Police District on the city’s West Side, WBBM reported.
The first shooting during that cluster happened at about 1:20 a.m. on Aug. 4 and sent seven gunshot victims to the hospital, with one in critical condition, WMAQ reported.
Witnesses said a gunman in a black Chevrolet Camaro opened fire on a group of people hanging out near a playground in the Douglas Park area and then fled.
Several of the people in the group returned fire, WMAQ reported.
Police said four or five people fired a total of almost 75 shots during the first incident.
An hour later, two women who were standing on the street in the 1200-block of South Troy were gunned down by an unknown shooter, WMAQ reported.
Both women were reported to be in stable condition at local hospitals.
Eight more people were shot at about 3:45 a.m. in the 4200-block of West 18th in the Lawndale neighborhood, according to WMAQ.
Family members identified 33-year-old Demetrius Flowers, a father of three, as having been killed in that incident.
Seven other victims – including a 14-year-old boy – were wounded by gunfire and transported to hospitals, WMAQ reported.
“This violence on the street, it has to stop,” Keith Flowers said after he learned that his son had been killed. “I’m gonna do everything in my power, and I ask the city to do everything it can, to eradicate this violence on the streets.”
The situation was so dire that the trauma center at Mount Sinai Hospital had to stop accepting patients for a while on Sunday, CNN reported.
Ambulances had to divert patients to one of the other four trauma centers in the city once Mount Sinai hit capacity.
Mount Sinai Vice President of External Affairs Roberta Rakove said that at one point Sunday morning, Mount Sinai was treating 12 trauma patients simultaneously, according to CNN.
Chicago Police Commissioner Eddie Johnson said at a press conference on Sunday morning that he was adding 50 officers to the 10th district patrols, as well as three teams from the police department’s Organized Crime Unit, WMAQ reported.
Commissioner Johnson said that all of the shootings in that short time span on Sunday morning had been gang or drug-related.
In a press conference on Monday morning, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for once did not blame the violence in her city on law enforcement.
Lightfoot said she spent Saturday night with police on the West Side of the city and was still “reeling” and “trying to process” what she saw while she was there.
She told reporters that the solution to the violence was “real infrastructure with staying power” and said she was clear “this cannot be only a law enforcement response.”
Lightfoot said the city had spent hundreds of millions of dollars on policing and it hasn’t worked so it was time to take a different approach.
The mayor of Chicago expressed condolences to the people of El Paso and Dayton whose cities suffered mass shootings over the weekend and called on President Donald Trump to back “common sense gun reform” and “set a different moral frame” for the country.
Lightfoot accused the President of seemingly dismissing the gunmen as “crazy people” instead of working to destigmatize mental health issues.
She called for universal background checks for gun buyers and asked Congress to do something about the state-by-state gun laws which she said complicated enforcement for states that were next to each other and had vastly different restrictions.
Commissioner Johnson also expressed sympathies to El Paso and Dayton during his press conference on Sunday and characterized Chicago’s gun violence problem as bigger than the city.
"I’m going to stop myself from becoming political here, but you have to stop and ask yourself ‘what more will it take before we get a handle on what’s going on, not just in Chicago but across the country?’” the police commissioner asked.