Chicago Shootings Over Holiday Weekend Leave 19 Dead, More Than 80 Injured

Chase Smith
By Chase Smith
July 8, 2024US News
Chicago Shootings Over Holiday Weekend Leave 19 Dead, More Than 80 Injured
Police investigate the scene of a drive-by shooting in Chicago on July 6, 2024. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Two mothers and an 8-year-old child were just a few of the 19 killed in Chicago over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling and Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a press conference on July 8.

The officials addressed the surge in violence and outlined the city’s ongoing efforts to combat gun violence and to support affected communities. Officials said that more than 100 people who were shot in total, 19 fatally.

Mr. Snelling acknowledged the tragic events at the onset of his remarks, recounting a visit to Greater Grand Crossing, the community that was reeling from the loss of the two mothers and a child.

“This type of senseless violence is heartbreaking,” Mr. Snelling said. “It’s unimaginable that someone could walk into a home and open fire on children and women.”

Both the mayor and police superintendent said that police were not the only answer to crime issues in the city, calling on the community to help curb the violence.

“Somebody knows who the offenders are in these cases, and it’s really important that we work with our communities … because the more information that we get from communities, the more it helps us apprehend these individuals who are committing these violent acts,” Mr. Snelling said. “We need to take these people off the street. We need to keep them off the street so that they don’t reoffend, so that they don’t destroy other families.”

Mr. Johnson echoed Mr. Snelling’s sentiments, expressing sorrow over the weekend toll.

“I stand here today, heartbroken over 100 people have been shot in this city,” Mr. Johnson said. “Nineteen people have been killed this holiday weekend. But these are not just numbers on pages. These are not just headlined in the news. No, these are our fellow Chicagoans, our neighbors, family members, who’ve lost their lives.”

Mr. Johnson said the violence was “personal” to him, as some of the shootings occurred in his neighborhood.

“We’ve had gun shots come through our own [home], right in my children’s bedroom on our front porch,” he said. “Look, there’s a lot to be desired in this moment—there is. And what we’ve experienced over this weekend is unacceptable.

“And we didn’t get here overnight, and everyone knows that … But the fact of the matter is, where there is the most violence, that’s where poverty is most pervasive. And this is not just unique to Chicago.”

Beyond the Numbers

Mr. Johnson linked the violence to long-standing issues of “generations of disinvestment and deep disenfranchisement in the exact communities where so much of the violence is taking place.”

“But we are here to say emphatically that this is enough.”

Mr. Johnson said the city needs to ensure that all individuals contributing to the violence will be held accountable.

He also vowed to seek more robust support from federal and state partners.

“Our streets are filled with illegal guns,” he said. “This has to change, and we need more support to address this crisis.”

The press conference also addressed what officials said were “strategic adjustments” made by the Chicago Police Department as the weekend’s violence unfolded.

Mr. Snelling discussed the challenges of policing large gatherings and the need to balance enforcement with the right to assemble, and reiterated the department’s commitment to flexibility and adaptation in its crime-fighting strategies.

Mr. Snelling said progress is being made in its investigations into certain incidents, but details would remain confidential.

Mr. Snelling, responding to concerns about the city’s readiness for large-scale events such as a NASCAR event over the weekend or the upcoming Democratic National Convention, stressed that public safety is a shared responsibility.

He urged people to be careful in large gatherings and to “step up” and report anything suspicious to police.

“This is a societal issue. The police cannot be in everybody’s backyard. They cannot be in everyone’s home. They cannot invade every single gathering where there’s a possibility that someone may show up with a gun,“ Mr. Snelling said.

The officials also announced the establishment of an Emergency Assistance Center to provide resources and support to victims and their families this week, putting the community in touch with crisis counseling and other forms of assistance.

From The Epoch Times