The Chicago Sun-Times tells “the story of why they won't stop shooting in Chicago.” The newspaper said the story is told “by by the wounded, the accused and the officers who were on the street during a 2008 weekend when 40 people were shot, seven fatally.” Two years later, nearly all the shooters from that weekend have escaped charges. “You don't go to jail for shooting people,” says Dontae Gamble, who took six bullets that weekend, only to see his alleged shooter walk free. So far, not one accused shooter has been convicted of pulling the trigger during those deadly 59 hours from April 18-20 of that year, a Sun-Times investigation found.
Only one suspected triggerman – a convicted armed robber caught with the AK-47 he allegedly used to blow away his boss – is in jail awaiting trial. Three other victims said they know who shot them but refused to testify. Six murders from the weekend remain unsolved. Time's running out to catch the bad guys who shot 29 other people because there's a three-year statute of limitations on aggravated batteries with firearms. The Chicago police batting average for catching shooters has fallen to an alarmingly low level. Detectives cleared 18 percent of the 1,812 non-fatal shootings last year. They were slightly better in catching killers – 30 percent of murders were cleared. Even though detectives cleared 18 percent of non-fatal shootings last year, almost half of those were cleared “exceptionally,” records show. That means more than 90 percent of those gunmen weren't charged.