CHICAGO -- Over 100 hundred people were shot, 15 fatally, in Chicago during the long Fourth of July weekend.
The Chicago Tribune reports at least 101 people were shot between Friday afternoon and early Wednesday.
Most of the violence happened on the city's West and South sides. The youngest person shot was a 13-year-old boy in Gage Park on Friday, the Tribune said. The oldest was a 60-year-old man in Lawndale.
The holiday weekend had been calm until Tuesday afternoon. The Tribune reports violence erupted in nearly every police district south of North Avenue within hours. At least 42 people were shot in a span of 12 hours between 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Police blame the violence on three things: warm weather, people drinking and doing drugs and the availability of guns on the streets. That combination, they said, lead to innocent people paying the price.
Tyrone Burdine, 56, was one of the 15 people fatally shot over the weekend.
“That was my husband that got killed and it's not fair, it’s not fair at all,” Mary Helen Davis said.
Davis said she’s depending on God to get her through after her husband of more than 30 years was shot, right before her eyes Tuesday night as they were celebrating the Fourth of July at their home near the corner of Major and North Avenue.
“We was all out on the front and he tried to turn come up the stairs, they shot him in the head and fell right there on my steps,” she said.
The shooting was apparently in retaliation for a fight earlier in the day. A gunman in a car was wildly shooting a group of boys but hit Burdine in the head instead. He later died at the hospital. A 21-year-old man was also hit in the back.
“I’m just angry with the youth today,” John Davis, Burdine’s nephew, said.
Burdine’s nephew was standing near his uncle when the shots rang out. He also blames the parents of the young shooters.
“They know the kids are out here doing this and they won't try to talk to their kids, if you're scared of your kids, try to get them some help,” he said.
The weekend was violent despite nearly 1,300 additional police officers on the streets, raids that arrested close to 60 people who police say drive the violence, and the seizing of 159 illegal guns.
“While our efforts are deterrent, if we don’t create a culture where someone thinks twice before picking up a gun, we'll see this cycle continue,” CPD first deputy superintendent Kevin Navarro, said.
The cycle of violence has hit the Burdine family twice now in less than a year. A nephew was killed last year, also shot in the head, prompting the family to put a sign in window asking people to put the guns down.
“Innocent people getting killed for something they aren't even involved in,” Davis said. “I’m going to put my trust and belief in God.”
Burdine’s wife says she wasn’t ready to share a photo of her husband with WGN, but family is asking for help in burying him.
They plan to set-up a GoFundMe page to collect the money.
Police admit the level of violence this holiday weekend was unacceptably high. But they said there were some bright spots. Eight police districts went without a shooting and shootings were down in the districts where they used the strategic decision support center to identify potential problem areas.
Last year, four people were killed and 60 were injured over the holiday weekend.