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Just before dusk on a muggy night in late June, an SUV crept toward a crowd waiting outside a fast food joint on an otherwise quiet commercial strip in South Shore.
A hail of gunfire followed, striking six people before the shooter was whisked away in the passing vehicle.
“They knew who they were looking for,” remarked one person at the scene in the 2000 block of East 71st Street, where fresh blood spatters painted the sidewalk.
While police say the shooters were targeting members of a rival gang, 23-year-old Kristina Grimes — a bystander apparently caught in the fray — was the only one killed, her body riddled with six bullets.
About two hours after the shots rang out, an alarming dispatch pierced through police radio: Another mass shooting had just rocked the Marquette Park neighborhood, roughly six miles away.
Three alleged gang members had sprayed bullets at a crowd hanging out in the 6200 block of South Artesian Avenue, enjoying the summer night. Twelve people were hit, among them Nyoka Bowie, 37, who suffered a fatal gunshot wound to her chest. Like Grimes and many other victims of mass shootings — defined by the Sun-Times and some researchers as incidents in which four or more people are wounded — she apparently was not the intended target.
In both cases, there was a large number of witnesses and surviving victims, yet no arrests have been made. That is all too common in Chicago, where police say they do not prioritize the cases despite the especially harsh toll such shootings have on a community.
Only one person has been charged in any of the at least 39 mass shootings so far this year, according to a Sun-Times analysis of city data and court records.
That amounts to charges in just 2% of this year’s mass shootings — far below the police department’s dismal 13% clearance rate for shootings overall, which is the lowest of any big city in the nation.
Going back to 2016, the alleged shooters have been charged in just 21 of at least 212 mass shooting incidents — or less than 10% of the cases, the Sun-Times analysis found.
Just two men have been convicted in those attacks, which through Friday nighthave wounded 1,032 people, 126 of them fatally, records show. Two of the other 21 people who have been charged were ultimately found not guilty, while another suspected shooter had his case dropped, records show.
|2016||37||163||21||2 charged in shootings (cases ongoing), 1 charged in connection (pled guilty)|
|2017||29||135||28||7 charged in shootings (1 case dropped, 2 pled guilty, 4 ongoing)|
|2018||29||139||16||5 charged in shootings (2 not guilty, 3 ongoing), 1 charged in connection (pled guilty)|
|2019||30||148||12||3 charged in shootings (all ongoing), 6 charged in connection, including 1 charged separately in a shooting (1 pled guilty, 2 dropped, 3 ongoing)|
|2020||48||233||25||5 charged in shootings (all ongoing), 4 charged in connection (1 stricken, 3 ongoing)|
|2021||39||214||24||1 charged in shootings (ongoing), 1 charged in connection (ongoing)|
|All||212||1032||126||23 charged in shootings (1 dropped, 2 pled guilty, 2 not guilty, 18 ongoing), 13 charged in connection (1 stricken, 2 dropped, 3 pled guilty, 7 ongoing)|
Source: Sun-Times analysis of city data and court records
The lack of charges this year is all the more ominous because the number of mass shootings far outpaces each of the last five years, according to the Sun-Times analysis.
This year’s toll through the end of July already surpasses the total number of mass shootings recorded each year between 2016 and 2019, records show. In each of the last two years there were five attacks in which more than 10 people were shot, including a pair of shootings that each wounded 15 people.
The lack of justice in the cases leaves the most reckless shooters out on the streets — and gives neighborhood residents all the more reason to look over their shoulder as many emerge from pandemic lockdowns.
“Go to the parks on the South and West sides on a beautiful day, and you’ll see it. There’s hardly anyone there,” said Steve Gates, a social worker who works in the Roseland and West Pullman neighborhoods for Chicago Beyond. “These are our public spaces, where we should gather. But people have to feel safe.”
A month after Bowie was killed, her friend Sameka Scaife said she doubts the police will ever find the gunmen responsible. “It’s like waiting for something that you know will never come,” Scaife said.
“It’s just gone cold. I don’t even think they’re looking,” she said of the investigation. “I believe the police know which gang is responsible for the shooting and that’s all. I trust the intel, but I don’t trust they’ll follow up and find out who did it.”
The daughter of a retired Chicago cop, Scaife said she’s lost all trust in the criminal justice system. Disillusioned by the lack of charges in Bowie’s killings, she has now abandoned her plans to follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue a career in law enforcement.
“I don’t see anything changing with the city of Chicago,” said Scaife, who left her hometown years ago due to the pervasive crime. “It’s almost like the police are stepping back and letting everybody kill each other. It breaks my heart so much.”
Police: Mass shootings not prioritized over other cases
Chicago’s total number of mass shootings in the past five years is more than double that of the next closest city, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that catalogs shootings in the United States.
But the mass shootings here rarely resemble the typically more planned attacks that prompt national media attention, outrage and calls for gun control, like the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado or the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida. Instead, Chicago’s mass shootings are usually sporadic street crimes that center around large outdoor gatherings, making the summer months particularly dangerous.
In an interview, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said many of the mass shootings in Chicago appear to stem from disputes or arguments, though he acknowledged some are clearly gang-related. Despite the increasing number of mass-victim events, Deenihan said they aren’t prioritized over other shootings.
“The detectives who are assigned to a mass shooting, and then if they’re assigned a shooting later on that week, they’re doing the same thing in order to solve that incident,” he said. “There aren’t any other different tools.”
He acknowledged, however, that investigating a mass shooting requires an “extraordinary” amount of time and more resources than other shootings. Detectives have to interview far more people, both victims and witnesses, and forensic technicians are needed to process sprawling crime scenes, often littered with dozens of bullets.
“It is a lot more work, but I just kind of defer to the detectives and the forensic guys and the beat guys who are out there,” he said. “Everybody is working as hard as they possibly can.”
Police reports obtained by the Sun-Times, though, reflect what appears to show different levels of police response and community cooperation in the incidents.
In a shooting at 4 a.m. June 6 that wounded eight in the 8900 block of South Cottage Grove, the narrative consisted of a handful of sentences with virtually no details.
“All victims related to r/o’s [responding officers] they heard gun fire and then felt pain. Not offender information was given to r/o’s by victims. Unknown witnesses related to r/o’s that they observed two male 1s shooting towards the crowd then fleeing in a silver sedan towards an unknown direction,” the report states.
Nine officers’ names are listed on the report.
Can’t see this police report? Click here.
In Chatham, multiple police officers were already on the scene helping disperse a large crowd when the shooting started on 75th Street in the early hours of June 12, said Marlon Mitchell, owner of Frances’ Lounge, a popular bar just a door down from where the shootings took place.
Footage from the bar’s surveillance camera — which Mitchell turned over to police — shows officers dispersing a crowd of hundreds, issuing tickets and towing illegally parked cars. The camera also shows the two gunmen pulling on masks in an alley east of the bar before bursting into the crowd. Police reports show that cops had a fairly detailed description of the shooters’ clothes, the make and model of the vehicle they drove off in and the direction in which they fled.
Police told community members they have suspects in the shooting, which killed a mother of three and injured nine others, but so far have announced no arrests.
“I don’t know what else they could do,” said Mitchell, who estimated dozens of officers eventually arrived at the scene. “Police were already here when [the shooters] popped out.”
Can’t see this police report? Click here.
Crimes hard to solve, experts say
Experts agree urban mass shootings like the ones that take place in Chicago are among the hardest cases to solve.
Clearance rates have been falling across the country since the 1980s. And Mark Bryant, executive director of the Gun Violence Archive, noted that most mass shootings in other cities also go unsolved.
Tom Scott, a social scientist who has studied clearance rates and investigative practices across the U.S., said shootings where no one is killed — even when multiple people are wounded — tend to get less attention from police because murders are the most closely tracked crime statistic by the media and politicians. (In more than 60% of the 212 mass shootings recorded in Chicago since 2016, no one was killed.)
Mass shootings, he added, tend to lack “solvability factors,” including cooperative witnesses.
“Agencies ... prioritize cases they are most likely to solve,” Scott said.
Yet law enforcement tends to respond to spiking violence by adding beat cops instead of detectives.
More robust investigations where officers make concerted efforts to find and interview witnesses can help foster the community trust needed to get more cooperation, Scott and other experts believe.
The Chicago Police Department’s efforts to crack cases have long been hampered by its strained relationship with the communities ravaged by gun violence, areas that have been over-policed and are predominantly Black and Hispanic. In those areas, fear of gangs and distrust of police has created an atmosphere that discourages cooperation, or snitching, striking fear in residents who may otherwise help investigators.
Deenihan, the chief of detectives, also noted the lack of cooperation from the “intended targets” of the shootings. Supt. David Brown asserted the culture of silence effectively perpetuates a cycle of violence and emboldens those carrying it out.
“People are not cooperating who are victims, which signals to us, ‘We want revenge, and we don’t want police solving this case because we want revenge, we want to retaliate,’” Brown said during a news conference on July 22, a day after three mass shootings within a four-hour span left two teens dead and at least 17 others wounded.
“That signals to us, when you don’t cooperate, when you are silent, that you prefer street justice,” Brown added. “Street justice is never-ending. The appetite for revenge is never satisfied. It only harms. It only ruins your community.”
Mass shootings traumatize residents of entire neighborhoods who either witness them, are victims or are related to the victims, said Sonya Dinizulu, a psychiatrist at the University of Chicago School of Medicine who has studied trauma.
“People say that communities ‘get used to’ this level of violence, that these shootings don’t faze them after a while,” Dinizulu said. “That is simply not the case, and we do not say that about sexual assault, or about car crashes or all other sorts of trauma.
“But the body remembers. People still have a physiological response, they have post-traumatic stress, and it is very difficult to heal that when the trauma repeats and repeats.”
Indeed, it fosters feelings of hopelessness and depression in young people, which lends itself to the kind of recklessness that might lead to firing into a group of people, heedless of innocents among them, Dinizulu said. That same hopelessness weighs on those who don’t become violent, and entire communities fray when residents are too wary to attend large gatherings or even be outside, she said.
“It’s a cycle. A very destructive and dangerous cycle,” she said. “We focus so much on healing. I think it’s surprising, encouraging, that people are focused on healing. But we know the drivers of violent crime — poverty, disinvestment, lack of educational opportunity — and we have to focus and invest in those as well.”
More guns — and more powerful guns — recovered
Experts agree with police officials that another factor is more directly driving the spike in mass shootings: More guns — and more firearms that are high-powered — have flooded the streets.
Chicago police have recovered at least 7,289 total guns this year, up from 5,668 at the same point last year. The number of recovered assault weapons has climbed more dramatically over that same period, from 227 to 368.
Statewide, the number of guns recovered steadily rose from 11,568 in 2014 to 15,486 in 2019, the last year of publicly available data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. More than half were pulled off the streets of Chicago.
Among all those weapons, the number of high-powered, rapid-firing rifles has skyrocketed. There were an average of 18 “machine guns” recovered each year between 2014 and 2018. That number spiked to 440 in 2019 — and the following year the number of mass shootings jumped to 48.
Deenihan said shell casings from handguns have been found at every crime scene where a mass shooting took place, while rifles have been used in just under half of the crimes. In many cases, people in crowds have returned fire — leading to more victims, he said.
Cops investigating mass shootings are also finding extended magazines and switches, which can make semi-automatic pistols fully automatic.
“It’s remarkable firepower,” Deenihan said. “But it also is the fact that when you have that many people — 100, 150 people, 200 people out there — and somebody’s firing a gun, the likelihood of somebody catching one of those bullets goes up dramatically.”
Roseanna Ander, executive director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, specifically noted that more people in Chicago are toting semiautomatic weapons that can hold high-capacity magazines, raising “the likelihood that you’re going to have multiple victims and that the injuries are going to be more serious.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot last month lauded a federal initiative aimed at disrupting interstate pipelines for firearms, and her administration has recently launched new efforts to combat the city’s gun problem.
She announced a $1 million reward fund last month for information leading to the seizure of illegal firearms. And since then, a new police team of roughly 50 officers was announced to target gun traffickers and people whose state firearm permits have been revoked.
Will tougher enforcement help?
When Kristina Grimes was slain in the mass shooting in South Shore earlier this summer, her mother Cynthia Carr felt like she had to do something to keep other innocent people from dying.
Grimes, once a standout high school swimmer who dreamed of making it to the Olympics, was apparently on her way to get something to eat when she was fatally shot. “No one knew her. She didn’t know them. She was totally caught off guard and just didn’t see it coming,” her mother said.
She and her husband, Grimes’ stepfather Michael Carr, now want elected officials to get behind measures like implementing stricter bail requirements for some offenders and embracing controversial stop-and-frisk policies. In recent weeks, the grieving mother has started reaching out to policymakers, including members of the Legislative Black Caucus and the state’s two U.S. senators.
“I don’t believe the political will exists to deal with the problem as is,” Michael Carr said. “And there’s going to have to be some tough solutions and acknowledgment about who’s committing the vast majority of these shootings. And just even saying that will bring howl and outrage among the activist groups.”
A West Side native, Michael Carr was raised near the notorious Rockwell Gardens housing project in East Garfield Park. Fed up with the violence, he left Chicago in his mid-20s, vowing never to return. He and his wife, also a Chicago native, now live in suburban Romeoville and fear for the safety of family members in the city.
While they’re critical of the city’s leadership and deeply concerned about its violent crime, the Carrs said they sympathize with detectives who they believe are inundated with cases.
“How is it humanly possible for a detective to investigate a crime if they have to keep shifting to another crime?” Cynthia Carr asked.
As for the two cases where police made arrests that led to convictions, both took place in 2017 and wounded five people.
Dejuan Moore, now 23, was charged in an attack in South Austin that June. And Kriston Gordon, 29, was charged in a shooting at a West Rogers Park bar early on New Year’s Eve, records show.
They were both hit with multiple charges, including counts of attempted murder, but each pleaded guilty to aggravated battery. Moore was given 10 years in prison, while Gordon got six — relatively light sentences for such brazen shootings.
But enforcing stricter punishments likely won’t do much to decrease violence in the long run, said Linda Teplin, a Northwestern University psychiatrist who has studied urban violence. Mass shootings that take place in suburbs, like Columbine, draw massive attention and drive the national debate on gun laws, but the events themselves are less predictable and are often the acts of isolated, lone-wolf shooters with no criminal records.
But in Chicago and other cities, mass shooters fit a narrower profile: They’re mostly young black males involved in gangs who will have contact with the criminal justice system.
“The irony is, urban violence is more preventable, but we don’t invest the funds,” Teplin said. “What is needed is economic investment, jobs, access to educational opportunities, therapy. We know what needs to be done, but we won’t invest the funds.”
Contributing: Jesse Howe, Andy Boyle, Madeline Kenney, Sophie Sherry
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In Chicago, shooting incidents are up 64% so far this year compared with the same period two years ago. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)
(CNN) — Mass shootings in the United States increased during the coronavirus pandemic, and even doubled in July 2020 compared to a year earlier, according to research published in the journal JAMA Open Network on Thursday.
Researchers focused on data between April 2020 and July 2021 from the Gun Violence Archive on mass shootings, in which four or more people were killed or injured, not including the shooter.
In that 15-month period, there were 343 more mass shootings, 217 people killed and 1,498 people injured in the U.S. than expected.
The team observed an increase in mass shootings after May 2020, compared to trends in previous years. There were 88 such shootings in July 2020, 42 in July 2019 and 45 in July 2018, the team noted.
City police departments are also reporting an increase in gun violence during the pandemic. In Chicago, shooting incidents are up 64% so far this year compared with the same period two years ago.
Last year, there were 611 mass shootings around the country, compared with 417 a year earlier, according to Gun Violence Archives. This year there have been 498 mass shootings, 34 just in September so far.
After April 2020, the team said that there were an average of .78 additional daily mass shootings, .49 additional people killed each day and 3.40 additional people injured each day.
Increases in mass shootings during the pandemic were observed across the 882 cities included in the data, but cities with both low and high pre-pandemic mass shootings — as opposed to cities in the middle of the range — contributed most to the overall increase in fatalities.
The large increase in mass shootings during the pandemic is consistent with the idea that this violence may be influenced by social and economic factors, the researchers note.
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Man charged in Wicker Park mass shooting that killed 1, wounded 4
Teanius Sykes | Chicago police
CHICAGO - A West Side man was one of four gunmen involved in a shootout outside a Wicker Park nightclub that left one shooter dead and four bystanders injured, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday.
"It just shocks the conscience that any dispute now, it appears, is handled with bullets," Judge John F. Lyke Jr. said at Teanius Sykes’ bond hearing.
"Irrespective of what happened in that club, it’s settled with shots going in both direction… Innocent people going about their daily lives subjected to dodging bullets and praying they don’t get hit."
Two pairs of men shot at each other outside The Point, in the 1500 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, Sunday morning, according prosecutors, who did not say what precipitated the gunfight.
Sykes, 35, was standing near an open door of his girlfriend’s car around 3:40 a.m. when his girlfriend’s cousin, Raymond R. Jones, allegedly opened fire at a group of people outside the venue.
Someone from the group returned fire, striking 32-year-old Jones, of Champaign, in the chest as he fell between two parked cars, authorities said.
Another person standing next to Jones was also hit, prosecutors said.
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Twenty seconds after the first volley of gunfire, Sykes went into the car of his girlfriend, who is a security guard, and took her handgun from the glovebox, prosecutors said. Sykes was then was captured on surveillance video shooting into the crowd by The Point, prosecutors said. Someone from the crowd returned fire, prosecutors said.
One woman, who was walking nearby, was shot in her shoulder as she ran for cover behind a car during the second volley of shots, prosecutors said. One of two people who exited a vehicle after the first round of gunfire and saw Sykes start shooting, was hit in the leg, prosecutors said.
An additional victim suffered a gunshot wound to her leg and was treated and released at Stroger Hospital, prosecutors said.
Police recovered 13 shell casings from the gun Sykes used and 17 casings from the three other guns, prosecutors said.
Detectives were able to trace the plates of Sykes’ girlfriend’s car and confronted the couple at their home, where police found the 9mm gun used in the shooting on a coffee table, prosecutors said.
The two shooters near the entrance of the club have not been identified, prosecutors said.
Sykes did not instigate the shooting and may have acted in self-defense, his lawyer said.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Sykes told Lyke that he is a single parent raising two children. He said their mother passed away in 2016.
Lyke ordered Sykes held without bail.
Sykes has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery, reckless discharge of a firearm and illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.
Shooting chicago mass
A mass shooting on Sunday morning in Wicker Park has residents and business owners rattled, not knowing what solution would solve the rising crime problem in the area.
Surveillance cameras at nearby businesses captured the shooting in the 1500 block of Milwaukee Avenue that killed a 32-year-old man and injured four other men and women.
One camera captured audio of the shooting, which occurred around 3:40 a.m. on Sunday. You can hear several rounds of rapid gunfire as crowds of people run down the street and take cover.
The Chicago Police Department said the investigating is ongoing, but as of Monday evening, no one was in custody. It’s unclear if the shooting victims know each other or if they’re connected to the shooter.
CPD said the shots came from a “dark-colored” vehicle, last seen on Milwaukee Avenue.
Nancy Awad said the gunshots woke her up Sunday morning as the scene played out in front of her apartment building.
"They pulled him out from behind the car, placed him on a gurney and put him into the ambulance," said Awad. "It was very jarring to see."
Last month, Wicker Park bargoers ducked for cover after random paintball attacks in the area. Over the last few weeks, residents have been alerted to a series of carjackings.
Kevin O’Donnell, owner of Pint Irish Pub on Milwaukee Avenue, said he wants more police patrols in the area.
"It’s normally a great nightlife for everybody but it’s really turned into a mess," said O’Donnell. "There’s kids, there’s families that live right here. It’s horrific."
Police said all surviving victims in the hospital are stable.
A description of a shooter was not available on Monday and a motive is still unknown.
For the full story, be sure to watch the video above.
Elishama Wright was leaving her nephew’s surprise birthday party, joking and laughing with her brother as they stepped into the cool weekend night in West Pullman.
Wright thought she heard firecrackers in the distance while walking with her brother, her 15-year-old daughter tagging along somewhere in the crowd.
The sounds grew louder and people started running and screaming. “When I looked down, I saw my brother on the ground with blood squirting from his face,” Wright told the Sun-Times.
She ducked back into the building in 300 block of East Kensington Avenue until the shooting stopped, then rushed outside to see about her brother and daughter.
Wright reached her brother, a Chicago firefighter, and felt for a pulse. It was faint. As she dialed 911, her daughter ran up, bleeding and crying.
“My daughter was yelling ‘Mom.’ She had a lot of blood running down her arm. She said, ‘Mom, I’m tired of shootings,’ and collapsed.”
Four other people were hit by gunfire and one of them, a mother from Dolton, was shot and killed near Wright’s daughter. “My daughter watched her die,” Wright said.
The attack Saturday night was the latest mass shooting in a year when the city is seeing its worst gun violence in decades, and in a neighborhood that is near the top for both murders and shootings, according to police data.
Police say the gunmen emerged from a dark gangway and opened fire around 9:30 p.m. and ran off.
Schenia Smith, 42, the mother from Dolton, was hit in the arm and armpit and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, police said.
Wright’s brother, Timothy Eiland, the father of five, was shot in the face and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition. Her 15-year-old daughter, Divine O’Neal, went to Comer Children’s Hospital in fair condition with a gunshot wound to the arm.
Three other men were wounded: A 38-year-old hit in the stomach, a 31-year-old grazed in the head, and a 22-year-old shot in the arm and leg. All of them were listed in fair condition.
Chicago’s chief of detectives appealed Monday for the public’s help in finding the shooters. He had no descriptions.
Wright said her daughter has been released from the hospital and there are hopeful signs that her brother will recover. He responds to his name and can move his fingers.
“Just keep praying,” said Wright, who works in payroll for the Chicago Police Department.
Wright said her brother is “an awesome fireman, an awesome husband, an awesome friend” and is known for his sense of humor. His father was a firefighter too.
“He was always joking around,” she said. “That’s what he was doing when we were out there.”
Wright said her daughter remains in a lot of pain, but it is doing the best she can. “It’s hard to see a hole in your child’s arm, with blood running down, and seeing your brother on the ground,” she said.
Eiland’s family has started an online fundraiser to help pay for medical expenses.
Violence in West Pullman
The shooting occurred in one of the deadliest neighborhoods in Chicago, targeted for special efforts by Mayor Lori Lightfoot because of the prevalence of gun violence.
Murders are up 42% from this time a year ago in the police district that covers West Pullman, rising from 31 to 44. Shootings are up about 35%, from 141 to 189. Other crime has also spiked: Sexual assaults are up 38%, aggravated battery up 11%.
During the same time, murders are up 3.6% across the city, from 535 last year to 554 this year. Shootings are up 9.5%, from 2,909 last year to 3,185 this year. Compared to this time in 2019, shootings are up nearly 68%.
A year ago, Lightfoot released a violence prevention plan that proposed flooding West Pullman and 14 other community areas with resources — not just violence intervention programs but help with jobs and housing and health.
The neighborhoods were targeted because they have accounted for 50% of the violence in Chicago over the last three years.
Yet West Pullman and six of the other areas have recorded more shootings since last year, according to Sun-Times data. The others are Great Grand Crossing, South Shore, East Garfield Park, Roseland, Englewood and Chicago Lawn.
Seven other areas are doing no better than last year: West Garfield Park, Auburn Gresham, North Lawndale, Chatham, West Englewood, South Lawndale and Humboldt Park.
Only one of the targeted areas — Austin — has seen fewer shootings though homicides are about the same as last year and it remains one of the deadliest neighborhoods in Chicago.
A Sun-Times analysis in July found that the Lightfoot administration had yet to funnel any extra assistance to some of these dangerous neighborhoods, particularly on the Far South Side.
The West Pullman community area had received none of the $36 million released so far by City Hall under the plan this year.
In the next few weeks, City Hall will announce how much of $1.8 billion in federal stimulus aid should go to West Pullman and the other neighborhoods it has targeted under the plan.
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At least 43 people shot, 6 fatally, in violent Chicago weekend
At least six people have been killed and 37 wounded, including a 3-year-old boy, in shootings that erupted across Chicago over the weekend, according to police.
As of noon Sunday, Chicago police had responded to at least 35 separate shooting incidents across the city since 6:30 p.m. Friday, according to police incident reports reviewed by ABC News.
Like other major cities across the country grappling with a rising number of shootings this year, Chicago has deployed a series of strategies to tackle the problem, including a crackdown on illegal guns pouring into the city by targeting firearm straw buyers. Police have also stepped up enforcement in areas that have seen spikes in shootings.
So far, nothing seems to have curbed gun violence.
In one incident early Sunday, five people ranging in age from 18 to 47 were wounded when two gunmen drove up in a silver sedan, got out and opened fire on a group of people gathered on the street. The gunmen then got back in the car and fled, police said.
The mass shooting unfolded just after 3 a.m. in the Austin neighborhood of northwest Chicago, and all of the victims were in serious condition at hospitals, police said. No arrests were made in the incident.
Also on Sunday morning, a tow truck driver was shot and killed as he was providing roadside service to a customer in the Englewood neighborhood on the city's South Side, police said. The 27-year-old tow truck driver, whose name was not released, was working when someone approached on foot and shot him multiple times.
The victim was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said. No arrests have been made in the homicide.
On Saturday, five other men were fatally shot over the span of about four hours Saturday.
Two men, ages 29 and 34, were fatally shot in one incident around 12:14 a.m. Saturday as they were walking on a street in the Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side of the city, police said. Police are searching for a red vehicle they believe the fatal shots came from.
Less than an hour later, a 31-year-old man was found shot and unresponsive on a street in the West Pullman neighborhood on the South Side, police said. He was taken to Christ Medical Center and pronounced dead, police said. No arrests have been made.
A 21-year-old man was fatally shot around 2:39 a.m. Saturday. Police said the victim, whose name was not released, was arguing with a woman on a street in the East Garfield Park section on the West Side when a gunman walked up and shot him multiple times, including once in the chest, police said. The victim was taken to Mt. Sinai Medical Center and pronounced dead.
A little over an hour later, a 33-year-old man died from gunshot wounds he suffered in the River North section of Chicago's North Side when someone in a blue SUV drove by and opened fire, hitting the victim in the chest, police said. The man was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
At about 10:45 p.m. Saturday, someone fired shots into a home in the Calumet Heights neighborhood on the South Side, hitting a 3-year-old boy in the back, police said. The child was taken to Trinity Hospital and later transferred to Comer's Children Hospital, where he was listed in good condition, according to police.
Meanwhile, a 15-year-old girl was among two people shot and wounded as they were standing on a street in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side at about 11:18 p.m. Saturday, police said. A gunman, who police are working to identify, opened fire from a distance hitting the girl in the buttocks and a 20-year-old woman in the leg.
More than 250 minors have been shot in Chicago so far this year, according to ABC station WLS in Chicago.
The shooting of children over the weekend came just two weeks after eight children were shot, including a 4-year-old who was killed over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
A total of at least 2,490 people have been shot in Chicago this year, a 9% increase from the same period as last year, according to police department crime statistics. The city has recorded 558 homicides, most of them the result of shootings, this year -- a 3% increase from 2020.