CHICAGO — A spike in gun violence on Chicago’s streets during the weekend prompted an impassioned news conference by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson Monday morning.
Preliminary totals show at least 12 people were killed and another 63 people were wounded in shootings between 3 p.m. on Friday and 6 a.m. Monday.
Most of the shootings happened over a seven-hour period. Between midnight and 7 a.m. Sunday, 40 people were shot and four were killed. The violence included seven shootings in which three or more people were shot. In one shooting in Chicago’s Gresham neighborhood, eight people were shot — including four teenage girls.
Speaking to reporters at the 6th District Headquarters at 68th and Halsted streets, both condemned the violence and called on the community to come together to fight the epidemic of gunfire.
Johnson said the police department cannot reduce shootings without help from residents identifying the shooters, many of whom are repeat offenders. He called on Chicago residents to hold themselves accountable to fight the violence as they do the police, the mayor and the city council.
Emanuel became emotional as he described the efforts of emergency room staff at Mount Sinai Hospital as they treated a flood of gunshot victims.
The mayor echoed Johnson’s call to the community saying there needs to be values about what is acceptable in society– what is condoned and what is condemned.
Hospitals in Chicago were overwhelmed over the weekend dealing with the victims of gun violence.
Resources at local hospitals were taxed as shooting victims poured in. More than 200 people had converged on Stroger Hospital at one point, and access to the hospital was tightened. Mount Sinai Hospital had to stop accepting new emergency cases for a while, according to the Chicago Tribune.
West Side pastor Rev. Ira Acree, who was one of the organizers of last week’s violence protest and march on the North Side, sent out the following statement: “Sadly, this horrific violence once again illustrates the two Chicagos that currently exist. One Chicago is enjoying outdoor meals, seeing shows, attending Lollapalooza while so many people in our neighborhoods are undergoing surgeries, sitting in hospital rooms and making funeral arrangements.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson tweeted, “Nine dead, dozens shot, trauma centers overwhelmed. We need sensible gun control, a plan for urban reconstruction, futures, not funerals.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson speak at a Monday morning press conference following a weekend where 12 people were killed and 63 wounded in Chicago.