The weekend began with seven people shot in just an hour on Chicago’s South Side. It ended with 10 people shot in two attacks on the West Side. By Monday morning, at least 56 people had been hit by gunfire in Chicago over the weekend. At least nine of them died, the Chicago Tribune reports. It was the worst weekend for violence in the city this year. More troubling, it was close to comparable weekends in 2016 and 2017, when gun violence hit levels not seen in Chicago in more than a decade. First Deputy Police Superintendent Anthony Riccio said, “We saw an unacceptable and frustrating level of gun violence in several communities.” He added, “There’s too many illegal guns on the street. They’re too easy to get.”
As bad as shootings have been in some parts of the city this year, overall they have been down substantially from the previous two years. At least 59 people were shot in Chicago during the weekend of June 16 last year and again during the weekend of June 17 in 2016. Weather was a factor. Temperatures climbed into the middle 90s both days, drawing more people into the street later into the night. According to police, that usually increases the odds of rivals running into each other or arguments escalating into gunfire. About half the victims were in their 20s. Thirteen were in their teens. Seven were girls and young women.