Chicago faced another bloody weekend, with at least 13 people killed in shootings, including a 1-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, sparking new fears about a violent summer ahead.
The violence, which followed a deadly Father’s Day weekend, began Friday night when a 42-year-old man was shot in the head while walking on the sidewalk in the Austin neighborhood, police said.
On Saturday night, a stray bullet flew out the window of an apartment in the Logan Square neighborhood and hit the 10-year-old girl, according to police spokesman Roberto Garduno. The girl later died in a hospital.
Preliminary information showed the shots came from a group that had been shooting at each other 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.
At around 11:30 am Saturday, Antiwon Douglas, 17, was killed. Police said they fought before someone from a large crowd gathered in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the city’s West Side fired shots.
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At least nine other people were killed in shootings as of Sunday. The violence has prompted activists and local leaders to call for more state and federal support.
“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 has pushed officials to the limit. Experts said non-suicide weapon deaths are on their way to the top last year, as the United States faces a rebound in the coronavirus pandemic, nationwide protests against racial injustice and deeper political divisions in a year of presidential election.
“The pain of losing a child never goes away,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted Saturday. “As a mother, I am tired of funerals. I am tired of burying our children.”
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His office announced Sunday that the multi-faceted approach to curbing violence in the coming months will include a $ 7.5 million street outreach program. Park district staff, schools and a transit agency will work to “widen the city’s footprint in places where shootings and killings recently occurred.”
Associated Press contributed to this report.