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Over 100 shot, 19 fatally, in Chicago over long Fourth of July weekend

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(CHICAGO) — More than 100 people were shot — 19 fatally — over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend in Chicago, according to police.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a press conference Monday morning he was “heartbroken” by gun violence in the city.

“These are not just numbers on pages. These are not just headlines in the news. No, these are our fellow Chicagoans, our neighbors, family members, who have lost their lives,” Johnson said. “These are 19 families whose lives are forever altered. Nineteen families woke up this morning without a son, without a daughter, without a mother, without a father, without an aunt, without an uncle — over 100 people whose lives will never be the same, whose next chapter in life is recovery and healing from this violence.”

Among the deaths was an 8-year-old boy, who was killed in a targeted shooting at his home, which also left two women dead and two other children critically wounded, according to a police report.

In a mass shooting in the early hours of Friday morning, eight people were left wounded, according to another police report. Less than two hours later, in a separate shooting, seven people were wounded, one of whom later died of his injuries.

“We are here to say emphatically: This is enough,” Johnson said. “When this reckless violence ravages across our city at this magnitude, we are losing a piece of the soul of Chicago.”

Despite the violence over the holiday weekend, shooting incidents in Chicago have been less frequent in 2024 than they have in years past, according to data from the Chicago Police Department. As of June 30, shootings were down 27% year-to-date in 2024 compared to three years ago, and down 20% year-to-date compared to four years ago.

Shootings were down 7% for the week of June 24 to 30, the most recent data available, compared to the same week in 2023. However, shootings were up 12% over the four weeks prior to June 30 compared to the same time period last year, according to the data.

At Monday’s press conference, Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said a number of the shootings broke out at large group gatherings.

“When we’re looking at this type of violence, we look at celebratory days of the year — the Fourth of July, and other days like it — where groups come together, large groups gather and sometimes this violence comes out of petty arguments,” Snelling said. “People who have been together all day, they come together as a group, they’ve been drinking, tempers flare and people decide that they’re going to air out their differences through violence, especially gun violence.”

Snelling called for anyone with information about the identities of the shooting perpetrators to come forward.

“Somebody knows who the offenders are in these cases, and it’s really important that we work with our communities … to help us apprehend these individuals who are committing these violent acts. We need to take these people off the street,” he said.

Johnson called for additional resources from the federal government to aid in stopping gun violence and assisting victims.

He also noted that gun violence does “not happen in a vacuum,” and those who experience it disproportionately tend to be Black. Black men disproportionately face the highest rates of firearm-related homicide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I’m so sick and tired of losing Black boys to violence in this city,” Johnson said.

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