Violent start to Memorial Day weekend

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CHICAGO -- Chicago Police detectives were busy on the scene of two homicides Saturday night.  At the first, in the 200 block of West Root, 27 year old Gavin Whitmore was found shot to death around 6 Saturday evening.

Two hours later, police were called to the 39 hundred block of West Lexington where a young woman was found fatally shot in the head.

And, police are still looking for suspects in the shooting death of 15-year-old girl who was a passenger in a car on Lake Shore Drive early Saturday morning.  Police say she's just one of the victims in what's turning out to be a violent Memorial Day weekend.

Fifteen-year-old Veronica Lopez was a freshman at North Grand High School.  Her mother Diana Mercado says the family called her youngest daughter "Day Day" from the time she was a little, and described her as a "happy girl, who loved to swim" and spend time with her four older sisters and her friends.

Lopez was shot and killed early Saturday morning as someone in another car pulled up alongside the SUV she was riding in on Lake Shore Drive near Fullerton and opened fire.  Several shots hit Lopez through the passenger side.  The 28-year-old driver was shot twice, but managed to drive to St. Joseph's hospital in Lincoln Park.  Lopez was rushed to Illinois Masonic, where she later died.  The driver of the car, who police say has known gang ties remains hospitalized.

The shooting happened along a stretch of Lake Shore Drive, adjacent to the Lakefront bike trail and near the city's most popular beaches.

Police continue to investigate Lopez's death in addition to a fatal shooting in the Ashburn neighborhood as a man stood on a porch in the 3700 block of west 75th street as well as the drive by shootings of two people in the East Garfield Park neighborhood at Walnut and Hohman.  No suspects are in custody in any of these incidents.

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