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Memorial Day weekend mayhem leaves 53 shot, 11 fatally, in Chicago

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(CHICAGO) — More than 50 people were shot, 11 fatally, over a violent Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, police said.

The gunshot victims included two toddlers who were accidentally shot and wounded in separate incidents and two teenagers, a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, who were hurt in unrelated shootings while standing on sidewalks, according to a review by ABC News of the weekend incident reports from the Chicago Police Department.

On Tuesday, police officials said at least 53 people were shot across the city in 42 separate incidents that occurred between 6 p.m. on Friday and 11:59 p.m. on Monday.

Besides the 11 people who were fatally shot over the weekend, an additional person was fatally stabbed, according to police.

The string of shootings occurred as newly-elected Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s safety plan was deployed over the Memorial Day weekend. Johnson’s initiative supports violence prevention programs, and youth outreach efforts by funding the work of more than 250 grassroots organizations across 24 communities on the West and South Sides of Chicago.

The spike in gun violence in Chicago comes as city leaders were seeing declines in both homicides and shootings this year. Before this past weekend, homicides in Chicago were down 7% from the 228 slayings that occurred in the first five months of 2022, according to the Chicago Police Department’s crime statistics. Shooting incidents are also down 9% this year compared to last year, crime statistics say.

“This weekend, what you saw on display is that everybody recognizes that it’s going to take all of us to unite this city and build a better, stronger, safer city,” Johnson told reporters at a community event on Monday.

Johnson acknowledged that “we have a lot of work to do” to curb gun violence in Chicago and said poverty continues to be one of the primary reasons for the shootings and homicides.

“Poverty didn’t go away over the weekend,” Johnson said. “We understand that when communities have been disinvested in and traumatized, that you’re seeing the manifestation of that trauma.”

Seven of the 11 gunshot homicides occurred on Saturday, according to police.

The first homicide of the holiday weekend unfolded just before 1 a.m on Saturday in the Beverly View neighborhood, when a 33-year-old man was discovered unresponsive on a sidewalk with a gunshot wound under his left armpit, according to police. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene and no arrests have been announced in the incident.

Just after 2 a.m. Saturday, a 35-year-old man was found on a sidewalk in the Lake View East neighborhood suffering from a bullet wound to the chest, according to police. The victim, William Hair, was taken to Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. No arrests have been announced.

“Senseless. It’s the only word for it,” Hair’s brother, Matthew Hair, told ABC Chicago station WLS-TV.

He said his brother was walking home from a bar with his best friend when a car pulled up alongside them. The occupants of the vehicle shot Hair while attempting to rob him and his friend.

Around 2:09 a.m. on Saturday, four people were shot in a drive-by shooting, including a 69-year-old woman who was killed, according to police. Witnesses told police that the gunfire came from a vehicle and was aimed at a car containing three men, who all suffered gunshot wounds. Police later discovered the 69-year-old woman alone in another car, suffering from a bullet wound to the side. She was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Just before 3 a.m. on Saturday, a man and a woman were both shot in the face while standing on a sidewalk. Both victims were taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where one of them, a 36-year-old man, was pronounced dead, according to police. No arrests have been announced.

At about 3:20 a.m. Saturday, a 22-year-old man, identified by police as Jonathan Salgado, was shot in the chest while standing on a sidewalk in the Little Village neighborhood in the southwest area of the city, police said. Salgado was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Also on Saturday, an unidentified man, described as 25 to 30 years old, was found shot multiple times in the Humboldt Park area in the northwest section of the city and was later pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital, police said.

A 20-year-old man was shot in the back around 10 p.m. Saturday as he walked along a street, police said. The victim was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

About an hour later, a 26-year-old man was shot and killed when he exited a gas station in the West Woodlawn section of the city, police said.

The string of killings continued on Sunday in the Fernwood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, when around 12:30 a.m. a 20-year-old man was shot multiple times by two assailants, who remained at large Tuesday morning, according to police.

Two people were shot, one fatally, around 2:09 a.m. Sunday. A 35-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were found critically injured inside a car were taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where the man was pronounced dead, according to police.

In addition to the 11 fatal shootings, a 42-year-old woman was found stabbed to death just after midnight Saturday in an alley in the Austin neighborhood of the city. A 64-year-old man, police identified as Arnel Smith, was arrested and charged with murder in the fatal stabbing, police said.

Among the victims shot and wounded over the weekend was a 77-year-old man, who was shot in the back. The man was among three people wounded in a drive-by shooting that unfolded around 1:43 a.m. Monday in the Burnside neighborhood, police said. No arrests were announced in the incident.

On Saturday, a 21-year-old man was shot in the thigh by a 24-year-old man he allegedly approached and fired shots at, police said. The man who was shot was arrested after being taken to Holy Cross Hospital for treatment. The man who shot him has a permit to legally carry a firearm and was not charged, police said.

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