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CHICAGO—In one of the most violent weekends Chicago has seen since the temperature has risen, seven people were shot dead and at over 40 were wounded in incidents, police said.
Overnight from Saturday into Father’s Day, six were killed and 13 other shootings happened across the city.
The bleak news comes after Chicago experienced a 34 percent drop in murders compared with last year this period, a rate the city hadn’t seen since the 1960s.
A series of deadly shootings
On Friday, the weekend’s first fatality happened at 11:34 p.m. on the West Side of Chicago. Police said two men were shot during a “dispute,” according to NBC Chicago. A 24-year-old man was taken to Loyola University Medical Center and later pronounced dead, police said. According to reports, the other man, a 23-year-old, suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.
On Saturday, 21-year-old Ricardo Herrera was shot and killed at about 10:50 p.m. when two others were wounded in the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side of Chicago, police said.
Later that night at 11:45 p.m., police said a 16-year-old boy was shot by a gunman who rode on a bicycle on the West Side of the city. According to reports, he tried to escape, but collapsed steps away from where he was shot. The boy sustained gunshot wounds to the back and arm, police said. He was pronounced dead at 1:37 a.m. at Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Police said Sunday the teen had gang affiliations, according to NBC Chicago, and although his death was ruled a homicide, police said no one was in custody as of Sunday morning.
Shortly after midnight on Sunday, a gunman sprayed a Chatham nightclub with bullets, killing Todd Wood, 40, and wounding three others. According to police, one person is in critical condition. As of Sunday morning, no one was in custody.
Sunday at 12:30 a.m. on the Southwest Side, an 18-year-old man was shot in the chest, shoulder and head in a drive-by shooting. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and listed in critical condition. Police said a 22-year-old woman was also wounded in the thigh in the same shooting.
At 1:15 a.m. Sunday, police said they responded to a call and found 19-year-old Jamal Jones bleeding from the stomach, chest and shoulder. He was later pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in nearby Southwest Suburban Oak Lawn, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Just minutes later, Cortez Wilberton, 31, was killed on the city’s West Side and later pronounced at Loretto Hospital. A woman suffered a graze wound to the face in the same shooting, but was in stable condition.
Around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, one man died in a police-involved shooting in the Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago. After officers attempted to pull over a car several times, the driver jumped out and bolted. Police said they chased him down an alley and noticed a gun in his belt. Reports said the man allegedly reached for the gun and police opened fire. No police officers were injured. The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the shooting.
Warm weather is a factor
Hours later at 4:10 a.m. Sunday, a 34-year-old man was shot in the head, back and leg on the West Side of Chicago. Police said a friend took him to Mount Sinai Hospital, however he did not cooperate with officers.
Around 4 p.m. Sunday, a 25-year-old man was shot in the abdomen and back, and a 21-year-old woman was shot in the finger on Chicago’s West Side, police said, according to NBC Chicago.
At least 18 others were wounded in other shootings across the city over the weekend.
The warm weather peaked to 80 degrees over the weekend, and for years, Chicagoans have faced a morbid reality that as the temperature rises, so does the possibility for crime, and subsequently, the murder rate.
Just days before the weekend bloodshed, city officials attributed a drastic 34 percent decrease in homicides to progress from a comprehensive crime reduction strategy that Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel employed in 2012.
The warm-up is proof that anything can happen in a city where weather often dictates the crime level, according to Roseanna Ander, the founding Executive Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. “The fact that we’ve had a colder than usual, and had a warmer than usual spring last year, that may be a factor in both the increase that we saw last year and the decrease that we’ve seen this year,” she told theGrio in an interview earlier this week.
Renita D. Young is a Chicago-based multimedia journalist. Follow her on Twitter @RenitaDYoung