The Chicago weekend shootings were the bloodiest since the city named Eddie Johnson its new police superintendent six weeks ago. Johnson called the gun violence “completely unacceptable” and said the crime highlights “the uphill battle” confronting police.
More than 50 people were shot, eight fatally, between Friday afternoon and early Monday, the city’s most violent weekend since the end of September, People Magazine reports. The tally included a 3 1/2-hour period early Saturday when one man was killed and 14 others were wounded - the equivalent of someone being shot every 14 minutes.
Despite the Chicago weekend shootings, the city is already closing in on 200 homicides as the city endures its worst violence since the late 1990s. At this rate, the city is on pace to top 500 homicides for the year for only the second time since 2008.
At an unrelated news conference Monday on the city’s Southwest Side, Johnson brought up the Mother’s Day weekend violence himself in his prepared remarks. He focused his remarks on how much of the bloodshed is being driven by about 1,300 individuals on the Police Department’s “strategic subject list” - those believed to be most prone to violence as a victim or offender, CBS Chicago reported.
About 78 percent of the homicide victims and about 84 percent of the nonfatal Chicago weekend shootings victims were on the list, he said.
“That means essentially we know who they are,” he told reporters about a Chicago police officer fatally shot a bank robbery suspect on Monday. “Oftentimes, they have gang affiliations, and many have had previous arrests and convictions.”
He then ticked off nearly 10 examples of how many arrests these victims had on their records before the Chicago weekend shootings, ranging from 20 each all the way up to 41.
As his predecessor, Garry McCarthy, often did, Johnson lamented how many of these offenders “cycle through the criminal justice system,” often serving less than half their prison terms before returning back to the street to commit “the same acts of violence or worse,” he said.
He stressed that the Police Department “can’t do it alone,” calling on “colleagues in the judicial system, elected officials, community members, religious leaders and parents to help us in the fight.”
While much of the weekend violence was concentrated as usual in impoverished pockets of the South and West sides, the shootings were spread across the city. Two people were shot on Chicago-area highways, including a 35-year-old man who died after being shot in the back on Lake Shore Drive on the North Side.
FOX News said the Chicago weekend shootings included a 16-year-old victim, Nathan Hicks, who was shot in the chest as he stood on a sidewalk in East Garfield Park on the West Side. The oldest was a 58-year-old man killed at his dinner table when a bullet pierced the front door of his Southwest Side home in Archer Heights and hit him in the head. Police believe the shooting was gang-related but that the victim, identified as Andres Rivera, was not the intended target.