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Labor Day Weekend Proves Deadly for Chicago

An alarming 65 people were shot in Chicago during the holiday weekend, with almost half being injured between 6 a.m. Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reports.

And thanks to yet another violent weekend, the city’s 2016 homicide total now rest past 500, surpassing the entirety of 2015.

Thirteen of the 65 people shot died as a result of their injuries. Their deaths brought the total to 512. In 2015, 491 people were murdered.

“It’s not a police issue, it’s a society issue,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters. “Impoverished neighborhoods, people without hope do these kinds of things. You show me a man that doesn’t have hope, I’ll show you one that’s willing to pick up a gun and do anything with it.”

Johnson noted an increase in gun arrests over the last year, as well as more than 6,000 illegal gun recoveries so far in 2016 as proof that officers are out on the streets working. He acknowledged the fallout from last year’s release of the Laquan McDonald video and the increased distrust between police and the Black community, doesn’t make it easy for officers.

Crystal Meyer was among this weekend’s victims. Meyers, who was nine months pregnant, was wounded in the abdomen on the same block where someone had been killed less than a day earlier. No information on the baby was available. A man who was standing near her was left in critical condition in the same shooting that took place around 3:30 p.m. in the city’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Early Monday morning, a retired pastor was shot to death outside a senior housing complex in South Shore. Police say the man was found dead. He was shot in the face outside the Senior Suites of Rainbow Beach near 77th and Exchange around 6:30 a.m. Residents say he had been arguing with a man earlier before shots rang out. No charges have been filed.

The Labor Day weekend may have been the deadliest holiday weekend for Chicago this year, but it is not the first. On Memorial Day weekend, 69 people were shot, six of them fatally. The Fourth of July weekend recorded 66 shot, five of them fatally.

So far, more than 2,930 have been shot this year, according to data collected and analyzed by the Tribune.