One of Chicago’s sunniest and warmest weekends of the year was also the most violent as police said Monday, June 3, that the weekend ended with eight people killed by gunfire and 44 more suffering gunshot injuries. Eddie Johnson, Chicago Police superintendent said that over the past 72 hours he saw a despicable level of violence.
At a news conference, Johnson reiterated a complaint he has made before about lax gun laws and court system policies that turn the county jail into a revolving door for gun offenders saying, “Weekends like this remind us all of the challenges that we face, and that they are complex and profound.”
On Monday, Johnson said that police believe the majority of shootings were gang related. He said the department increased the number of uniformed officers on the street, targeting areas where they believed gangs whose members had been shot at would retaliate. He said he believes that effort helped police seize 92 illegal firearms, which is nearly twice as many firearms as the department seizes in a typical warm-weather weekend.
Johnson also pointed out how embolden some of these individuals are, where some shootings took place with law enforcement as close as a half a block away.
In all, there were 10 homicides over the weekend, but two of those were stabbings, police said.
Gun violence down
According to gunviolencearchive.org, in 2017 the total number of incidents involving guns was 61,987, with 15,665 deaths. In 2018, those numbers decreased to 57,264 total number of incidents, with 14,751 deaths, according to the Cook County medical examiner and 540 people were killed in Chicago in 2018.
That is down considerably from 664 in 2017 and 781 in 2016. But these figures do not include killings on the city’s expressways.
According to the Chicago Tribune, in the past 365 days, as of June 2, 354 homicides in Chicago were the result of gun violence. Two hundred and six people have been killed in Chicago this year alone, thats 5 fewer than this time last year.