Start of Fourth of July weekend sees decrease in violence

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CHICAGO -- A decrease in the level of violence so far this Fourth of July weekend may indicate police strategies are working during what's usually one of the most violent weekends of the year.

Three people were killed and 30 injured so far, compared to nine killed and 46 wounded last year, and 16 killed and 66 injured in 2014.

This year's violence includes one victim killed in a stabbing on the South Side. A second was found near a Little Village elementary school late last night with a gunshot wound to the back of the head.

A third victim, 31-year-old Hector Badillo, was killed Saturday outside of his father's West Side auto shop. Police say a shooter came out of an alley on the 700 block of N. California  and fired. A second man who was in a car was wounded in the same incident.

Two teenage boys are among the 28 people wounded so far this weekend. Police say a gunman got out of a green truck and shot the boys at 72nd and Lowe. The boys, ages 16 and 17, are in stable condition this morning.

The strategy announced by Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson began this weekend with a series of raids on the West Side.

Police targeted gang members on their so-called "Strategic Subject List," said to be at risk of being victims or perpetrators of violence. A total of 88 people were arrested on various felony and misdemeanor charges.

Additionally, thousands of police officers are working overtime this weekend, patrolling the streets and paying particular attention to parks, beaches, and Navy Pier.

Deputy Police Superintendent John Escalante said he's encouraged by the numbers he sees and the strategy appears to be working.

This decrease in holiday violence comes after a very violent first six months of the year with more than 300 homicides so far, nearly a 50 percent increase from this time last year.


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