CHICAGO — The homicide toll in Chicago continues to climb at a quick pace this month, making it the city’s deadliest September since 2002.
By Tuesday night, there were already 60 murders in September, making it the deadliest month of 2015 so far. The month already has more homicides than the traditionally violent summer months.
The spike in shooting deaths and gun violence comes after two consecutive weekends with more than 50 people shot.
In a 15-hour period beginning Monday night, 14 people were shot, six fatally. Most of those victims were hit during two mass shootings just two miles apart on the South Side. Among those victims, an 11-month old boy, Princeton Chew, was shot in the hip as his mother held him outside their home in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The baby’s pregnant mother, Patricia Chew, and grandmother, Lolita Wells, were shot and killed. Two other relatives were also shot.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy addressed the uptick in shootings on Tuesday.
A clearly frustrated Emanuel said, “gangbangers can get access to guns at will” and that violence “happens with a frequency that is unacceptable.” He continued, “I will probably regret what I say because I am angry at what happened here and I think I speak for everybody who believes that enough is enough.”
Both Emanuel and McCarthy place the blame on the proliferation of guns and lax gun laws.
At a separate press conference, McCarthy expressed his anger, saying, “Here we go again, I guess is the way I’m looking at this. I’m furious that children, expectant mothers … are becoming victims of senseless gun violence in this city.”
McCarthy said police had “very optimistic” leads in the mass shootings from Sunday night and Monday morning.
Investigators think each shooting could be gang-related.