Chicago shootings kill 3 children; activists seek change


CHICAGO (AP) – Activists and local leaders called for more state and federal support on Sunday when the weekend shootings in Chicago left three children dead, including a 10-year-old boy who was hit by a stray bullet through the window of a apartment.

Saturday night’s death was among at least 10 shooting deaths since Friday night, which follows a deadly Father’s Day weekend and new concerns about a violent summer ahead. A boy of 1 and 17 years were also killed.

“It is out of control where even innocent children are losing their lives,” said neighborhood activist Raúl Montes Jr., who planned a vigil Sunday night on the southwest side of the city.

He called for federal intervention while a state lawmaker announced a new task force to address underlying problems.

“Violence is the result of poverty and must be addressed with human services and support,” State Representative La Shawn Ford, a Democrat from Chicago, said in a statement. The group asked for support from federal, state and municipal leaders.

A recent series of shootings in Chicago and other cities have pushed authorities to the limit. Experts say non-suicide weapon deaths are on their way to the top last year. The news comes as the American public is dealing with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic consequences, a heightened awareness of racial injustice and vigilance, and deeper political divisions in a presidential election year.

“The pain of losing a child never goes away,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Twitter on Saturday. “As a mother, I am tired of funerals. I’m tired of burying our children. “

His office said Sunday that the multi-faceted approach to curbing violence in the coming months will include a $ 7.5 million street outreach program where police partner with organizations and an operations center launched last month. Park district staff, schools and a transit agency will work to “widen the city’s footprint in places where shootings and killings recently occurred.”

The 10-year-old girl died in a hospital after the shooting in the Logan Square neighborhood northwest of downtown around 9:40 p.m., according to police spokesman Roberto Garduno.

Preliminary information showed that the shooting came from a group of men who had been shooting at themselves in the block, he said. No one was in custody on Sunday.

Earlier Saturday in the Englewood neighborhood on the south side of town, a 1-year-old boy who was riding in the back of a car driven by his mother was shot when someone opened fire from another car. The mother suffered a head injury. The boy was identified as Sincero A. Gastón.

Police said the motive for the shooting was unclear.

Superintendent David Brown pleaded with the public for someone to come forward with details.

“We ALL need to be outraged by the violence we are seeing in our city,” he said in a statement. “This baby, and all of our residents, deserve better. This is not just a problem that Englewood needs to solve. This is not just a problem on the south side or the west side. We cannot compartmentalize the violence that separates families and communities. “

His office had no further comment on Sunday.

The 17-year-old, identified as Antiwon Douglas, was killed around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Police said he fought and someone from a large crowd who gathered in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the city’s West Side shot.

During Father’s Day weekend, 14 people, including five children, were killed and more than 100 people were shot, representing the highest number of shooting victims in the city. in a single weekend this year.

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Follow Sophia Tareen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiatareen.

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