At least 52 people were shot across the city of Chicago over the weekend, resulting in at least 10 deaths. The number marks the most violent weekend of the year for the city.
The Chicago Tribune reports that 31 people, over half the weekend’s victims, were wounded during a 12-hour period that lasted from Friday evening to Saturday morning.
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At a press conference on Monday morning, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson referred to the escalation as “a despicable level of violence”.
“Weekends like this remind us all of the challenges that we face,” he said, “and that they are complex and profound.”
He said there were “multiple gang-related attacks” beginning on Friday evening, along with increased violence along various parts of the cities.
Mr Johnson said 18 people were arrested on gun-related charges. A statement from the police department released on Saturday night said that 81 illegal weapons had been seized since Friday evening.
“We take these shootings seriously, and there is a heightened sense of urgency and care when it comes to gun violence in this city,” Mr Johnson said.
He emphasised, however, that police enforcement alone was not enough to face the challenge, adding “We cannot, can’t, cannot do this without the support of our communities.”
At least four teenagers were wounded in the gunfire, according to the Tribune. The youngest was a 16-year-old boy, who was shot in the right shoulder and was said to be in good condition.
A 17-year-old girl was hit in the lower backside, and is reportedly in a stabilised condition. A 17-year-old boy, also shot in the lower backside, is also stabliised.
An 18-year-old man was shot in the neck and taken in critical condition to a local hospital; his current state remains unclear.
The Tribune has reported 880 victims of gun violence in Chicago in 2019, which is slightly down from 2018's shootings. During the three-day Memorial Day weekend directly preceding this period, at least 43 people were shot in the city, resulting in seven deaths.