GARY, Ind. — It was a violent weekend in Gary, as 17 were shot and one killed in the city of 76,000 people.
At times from late Saturday through Sunday night, it was back-to-back gunshot victims at Methodist Hospital in Gary. Patients were self-transporting to hospitals in shot-up cars, crowds were building, and emotions ran so high the hospital was locked down. Police kept a heavy presence at the emergency room.
"We had seven different shooting sites throughout the city that we're working on," Gary Police Department Cmdr. Jack Hamady said.
Investigators say part of the surge in violence arose from a gathering at a local park held Saturday in memory of a man who died last year. Several victims were shot and wounded at that park. Some of the remaining carnage may have been in retaliation, police say. At the end of the weekend, the rate of violence in Gary was 14-times that of Chicago on a per capita basis over the same period.
Among the victims was 19-year-old Jazaniel Davis, who was pronounced dead just after 11 p.m. Sunday after a shooting on the 2500 block of Harrison Street, the Northwest Indiana Times reports.
"The violence that has occurred this weekend is unsettling to say the least," Gary Police Chief Richard Allen said.
Three people were sitting in a car around 12:30 a.m. Sunday when someone drove by and opened shots, wounding a 20-year-old man, a 17-year-old girl and a 22-year-old Indianapolis man, who was struck in the neck, according to police.
Two brothers were also shot as they sat in a vehicle on the 3700 block of Monroe St. around 1:15 p.m. Sunday. A 21-year-old victim was struck in the left hip, while his 25-year-old brother was shot in the head.
As he drove near 25th Avenue and Clark Road around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, a 32-year-old told police he heard gunshots that struck his window, and either a bullet or debris injured his head, forcing him to stop at a nearby business to ask them to call police.
A 23-year-old victim later told police he was playing basketball around 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Tolleston Park when he heard shots and began running. He said he saw someone firing shots in his direction from a tan Chevy when he was struck in the side by a bullet.
Gary police say they've beefed up patrols with an assist from the Lake County Sheriff's Department, and the Lake County Crime Lab is stepping in to help with investigations. But they have yet to make a single arrest, so they're looking for some help from the public, too.
Anyone with information are asked to call the Gary Police Department Violent Crimes Division at 219-881-1210 or the Crime Tip Line at 866-CRIME-GP.