At least 58 people have been wounded and nine killed in 40 shooting incidents across Chicago this weekend, police said, continuing a trend of increased shootings and murders in the city.
Seven teenagers and two boys were among those wounded in multiple shootings reported since Friday evening, police said.
A 10-year-old boy and 11-year-old boy, along with a 27-year-old man were injured during a drive-by shooting in Auburn Gresham Sunday evening.
The violence fits a trend seen across major US cities this year: a sharp rise in shootings and murders in the past few months, even as overall crime complaints have declined. These trends coincide with the end of pandemic-related shutdowns and the mass protests against police violence and racism.
As of July 12, Chicago police reported 385 murders this year, a 48 percent increase from at the same point in 2019, and 1,541 shootings, a 46 percent increase from the same point last year.
The increase has been particularly stark in the past month. There were 116 reported murders in the 28 days before July 12, about three times the murders in the same period in 2019.
Total crime complaints are down 9 percent compared to last year, led by steep declines in theft and criminal sexual assault incidents, according to Chicago police.
Compared to 2016, crime complaints have declined 23 percent, with 10 percent more murders so far this year but 11 percent fewer shooting incidents. Historically, this year’s murders and shootings are well below the heights of the 1990s, when crime peaked in US cities.
Crime experts believe this year’s increase in murders and shootings relates to the heightened distrust between police and the communities they serve, exemplified by Black Lives Matter protests across the country.
Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said it’s highly likely that widespread social unrest in response to George Floyd’s death and other police violence is contributing to an increase in violent crime. When people don’t trust the police, he said, they’re more likely to take matters in their own hands.