CHICAGO – Over a steamy Memorial Day weekend, six people have been shot to death and at least 24 others were wounded as the pace of gun violence is set to surpass last year's holiday in Chicago.
Among those fatally shot was 17-year-old China Lyons-Upshaw, who was killed in an apparent accident in a Kenwood home, police said. A witness told police the teenager and a man were playing with a gun around 9 p.m. Saturday when it fell to the ground and fired, hitting China in the chest. The man initially ran from the scene in the 800 block of east 49th Street, but community activist Holmes worked with family and friends, and convinced the suspect to speak with the authorities.
“I went and talked with him, and encouraged him, don’t turn the other way and run – just go at it, put this behind you and explain to the state’s attorney and the detective what exactly happened,” Holmes said. "You can’t run from this."
Holmes said he is calling on other suspects to do the same thing during a violent Memorial Day weekend.
Three people were shot inside a corner store at 58th and Indiana Avenue around 8:34 p.m. Saturday night. Police said the three victims were inside the store when someone came in and started shooting. They were taken to the hospital and were stable. No arrests were made.
Just a few minutes later, a woman was shot and killed in the city's Auburn Gresham neighborhood. The shooting happened in the 800 block of West 76th Street when a unknown male approached the victim from behind as she was walking down the street and shot her. The victim was identified as 20-year-old Bobbieana Slyons. The shooting is under investigation. No one is in custody.
Another man, whose age was not provided by police, was shot and killed on the 5000 block of South Drexel around 8 a.m. Sunday. Police said the man was found dead in a car and was shot in the chest. No further information was provided. The incident is under investigation.
Statistics show the Memorial Day holiday so far has been almost as violent as last year, when 7 people were killed and more than 40 were shot.
“We’ve got to bring that number down to zero – no shootings – and we’ve got to teach them,” Holmes said.
The shootings come despite a major police crackdown involving an additional 1,000 officers being deployed over the holiday weekend. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said what’s different this year is the stepped-up support from federal partners. CPD, along with the FBI and ATF have arrested more than 100 people and confiscated 46 guns since Thursday.
Police said they are increasing visibility in neighborhoods and downtown attractions. Residents can expect to see more officers on Lake Shore Drive, around beaches and Navy Pier, where the summer fireworks begin.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about individuals responsible for any of the weekend’s shootings to contact CPD detectives.
Note: It was previously reported that seven people died over the Memorial Day weekend. The seventh person was strangled to death. Six died from shootings.