Chicago Sees 61 People Shot Over Christmas

Associated Press

Chicago saw 61 people shot this past holiday weekend.

The Chicago Tribune reports that 11 of those died as a result of their wounds. The violent Christmas weekend came to a close during one of the most violent years in Chicago in decades.

Seven people were killed on Christmas Day alone. That’s more than on the holiday the past three years combined. Three people were killed in 2015, one in 2014 and two in 2013.

This past weekend’s toll exceeded the number of people shot in the city this year to more than 4,300 and the number of homicides to around 770. Last year, there were 2,989 shooting victims and 492 homicides.

Eight shootings involved multiple victims, including two double homicides. Most of the shootings took place on Chicago’s South and West sides, in neighborhoods that have borne the brunt of the gun violence this year.

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said most of the shootings were gang-related.

The violence primarily occurred in areas with historical gang conflicts on the South and West sides of the city,” Johnson said the day after Christmas. “We now know that the majority of these shootings and homicides were targeted attacks by gangs against potential rival gang members and groups who were at holiday gatherings.

“These were deliberate and planned shootings by one gang against another,” he continued. “They were targeted knowing fully well that individuals would be at the homes of family and friends celebrating the holidays. This was followed by several acts of retaliation.”

Two young girls were among the last people shot during the long weekend. The teens were wounded in Gresham while waiting in a van for their father, according to police. The girls were with a 2-year-old boy outside of Leland Giants Park just after 11:30 p.m. when someone came up and fired into the vehicle.

One of the girls, 14, was struck in the back and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition. Another, age 13, was grazed in the arm and taken to St. Bernard Hospital in good condition.

The 2-year-old was unharmed, police say.

No one is in custody.