A rash of gun violence in Chicago has left 59 people shot and eight people dead since Friday. In fact, in one three-hour span, as many as 30 people fell victim to gunshot wounds.
According to an ABC 7 Chicago report, a paramedic referred to the situation as “a war zone” when attempting to describe what happened. Almost unbelievably, since 5 p.m. on Friday evening, 59 people sustained gunshot wounds, and eight of those people died as a result. Between 10 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday, 34 shootings and five deaths occurred.
On Sunday afternoon Chicago Police Chief of Patrol Fred Waller said, “We know that some of these incidents were targeted and are related to gang conflicts in those areas.”
Overall, most of the shootings happened in the six, tenth and 11th districts, and the gunmen shot into large crowds often hitting people other than the ones they were targeting.
According to USA Today, Waller reported, that in the past year, Chicago removed 5,500 guns from its streets so far this year. Plus, shootings in the city are down compared with last year. So far in 2018, Chicago reports higher than 300 murders, which is a 25 percent reduction over last year, but still higher than any other U.S. city. With this weekend’s spate of gun violence, the spotlight shines brightly on the city’s well-known firearms crime issues.
My heart breaks for those who are victimized and traumatized by the daily toll of gun violence. This is a public health crisis. Congress must act and can start by prioritizing additional resources to address this crisis. https://t.co/MaJRruGc3z
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) August 5, 2018
Waller said, “By no means do these statistics mean we have a victory. But I promise you we won’t be defeated… by a small element committing these reckless acts.”
The police department is working hard to prevent further shootings, injury, and death. “We can never measure what we prevent…. Sometimes it’s about the culture, about feeling like there are no repercussions,” Waller said.
The number of injured was so large that Mount Sinai Hospital stopped taking new cases briefly because it was stretched too thin.
The Chicago Tribune reported that one resident discussed how brazen the shooters in the area are at this point. He said, “If they shoot you, they don’t even run. They just walk away, they ain’t trying to run.”
Unfortunately, this high number of shootings comes just three days after hundreds of people protesting Chicago’s gun violence shut down Lake Shore Drive and called for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign.
Throughout his time as Mayor of Chicago, Emanuel called for stronger gun control both in the city as well as across Illinois. Despite those efforts, he faces several other candidates in his upcoming reelection and citizens are not happy with the way things are going right now in the region.