CHICAGO – Memorial Day marks the traditional start to summer and in Chicago, it, unfortunately, coincides with a spike in violence.
In preparation, the Chicago police announced last week that the department canceled days off and officers would work 12-hour shifts. This weekend, the department says more than 30 people were shot, three of them fatally. The weekend’s numbers are a far cry from 2020, however. Last year, Memorial Day weekend was the city’s most violent in five years.
Although Chicago was under a stay-at-home order, 49 people were shot and 10 people were killed.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the police department’s strategy from a year ago “a fail.”
Ahead of the anticipated violence, on Friday, Lightfoot and Police Superintendent David Brown unveiled their summer safety plan, which included flooding resources into the 15 areas of the city responsible for half of the crime.
“Will we convince every single person out there who has a gun now to put down their gun? No,” Lightfoot said on Friday. “But do we need to start, and do we need to be very concentrated and focused to provide those opportunities to make them think twice before they pick up a gun and solve those petty disputes? Absolutely.”
“I’m excited about having partners outside of law enforcement be able to really penetrate the root causes of violence,’ Brown said.
The most recent shootings in Chicago include:
A drive-by shooting claimed the life of a 40-year-old man in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, according to police.
A silver car riddled with bullets came to a stop at Chicago and Spaulding Avenues outside the Salvation Army Freedom Center, crashing after someone allegedly started shooting at the people inside.
Shotspotter captured dozes of gunshots. Fire officials say two other people inside refused treatment.
WGN learned that the shooting happened within a block of several police officers who were working foot patrol. Officers at the scene said they were not normally assigned to the district but were brought in as part of the 12 hours shift initiative to deter violence this weekend.
Overnight, Chicago Police officers searched inside a Subway restaurant at 67th and South Stony Island after bullets flew in the parking lot just before 10 p.m. Four teens, all 19 or younger, were shot in the legs, one of them in the foot.
Hours earlier, police said a group of offenders shot a man on S. Wabash in the South Loop. Tourists in town for the holiday weekend witnessed the commotion.
“Kind of a little bit of a scary situation but I guess it’s Chicago – my boys got an awakening of a big city today,” one witness said.
Early Sunday morning – another man was driving on Lake Shore Drive in South Loop when he was shot in the face.