At least 26 people have been shot — and four killed — over the holiday weekend in Chicago, including 11 children, in the second straight weekend of widespread gun violence to impact the city. No children were among the fatalities.
According to the Chicago Police Department, 15 shooting incidents over the weekend have already been reported, and that number could rise ahead of official numbers being released tomorrow.
Two incidents involving children were the result of accidental shootings involving kids playing with firearms, according to authorities. On Friday night, an 11-year-old was hit in the neck after he and a 7-year-old child found a gun inside a house, which then went off. He was transported to the hospital in serious condition.
Later that same night, an 8-year-old and a 12-year-old were accidentally shot by a juvenile relative who was playing with a weapon inside another home. Both were taken to the hospital in fair condition.
In four separate incidents across Saturday and Sunday, teenagers were injured in drive-by shootings — in one shooting, a 17-year-old was offered drugs, and was shot after he refused; two teens were also among six people shot during a gathering in an apartment on Friday night. No one has been charged with a crime and police are investigating.
On Saturday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted about the shootings involving minors, noting that the teens and children impacted appeared to have easy access to firearms. She argued that adults are failing these children, and that there needs to be “more accountability” among individuals and impacted communities, as well as the city as a whole.
Chicago Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi says that no criminal charges were filed with regards to the specific incidents involving accidental firearm discharges, because the childrens’ parents had attempted to secure their firearms. The children were able to find keys to where the guns were kept, however, Guglielmi explained.
No arrests have yet been made with regards to the four fatalities, none of whom have been publicly identified. Two of the dead were found in the street by police after reports of gunfire in the South Side neighborhood of Gresham. Another fatality was the result of an argument between two men on Sunday that led one to shoot the other; the fourth death occurred after two men were shot by a third man in a subway tunnel between the city’s Red and Blue lines, according to police. One of the men died at the scene while the other was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
These shooting incidents come just a week after Chicago suffered its worst shooting weekend of the year — 23 people were shot, with nine killed. It was the deadliest February weekend in the city in 18 years.