CHICAGO — The sounds of gunshots and sirens echoed through Chicago over a violent Father’s Day weekend, as shootings across the city left 12 people dead and more than 90 wounded.
Among the victims was 3-year-old Mekhi James, who police say was in a car with his father in the south Austin neighborhood when someone fired shots at the vehicle, striking and killing the toddler.
While police say the 27-year-old father was the intended target, and he is not cooperating with detectives. Sunday morning, community activist Andrew Holmes canvassed the neighborhood seeking information on the suspect.
“Block-by-block, let’s find the shooter,” Holmes said.
Superintendent David Brown said the police are working hard to track down the people responsible for the violence that shattered several Chicago communities. Community leaders are also offering a $10,000 reward for any information in Mekhi James’ killing.
About an hour after the toddler was shot, two men were shot just blocks away and one of them was killed.
Then about an hour later and another half-mile away, three teenagers were shot, including a 13-year-old girl who was killed. Police say she was simply watching TV in her home when she was shot in the neck.
“The bullet goes through the window, striking her in the neck causing her death,” said CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.
In South Shore,a 17-year-old boy and 16-year-old boy were killed near 79th Street and south Luella Avenue.
“This offender runs up with a gun and shoots and kills two for no reason at all – nothing to do with ongoing disputes, and they get gunned down for no reason at all,” Deenihan said.
Supt. Brown says there’s a common thread in all the violence: “Gangs, guns and drugs.”
“Let’s keep violent offenders in jail longer and revamp the home monitoring system,” Brown said.
Police say there’s a lot of work to do in the investigation into the killing of the three-year-old, including reviewing footage and interviewing potential witnesses.