After a summer of extreme violence, homicides in Chicago were supposed to slow down going into the fall and winter months. But, that certainly does not appear to be happening as the city just recording its most violent weekend of the entire year with 52 people shot and 17 of them killed. This weekend’s violence brings the tally of year to date killings in Chicago to 646, an annual run-rate which implies the most violent year since the mid-90s.
According to the Chicago Tribune, of the 17 victims from this weekend’s violence, 7 of them were under the age of 20, with the youngest victim being only 14.
The weekend toll also was deadlier than the three long summer holiday weekends when violence typically spikes because of the warm weather. Six people were fatally shot over the Memorial Day weekend, five over the Fourth of July weekend and 13 people over Labor Day weekend, according to Tribune data.
This past weekend there were shootings in every area of the city but the Far North and Northwest sides, according to police. Of the 17 people who were killed, seven were younger than 20.
The youngest was 14-year-old Demarco Webster Jr., described by his grade school principal as one of her best students. Demarco had planned to run for student council and try out for basketball, and he was being recruited for an NAACP leadership program.
A little more than 24 hours later, 17-year-old twins Edward and Edwin Bryant were killed in an apparent drive-by shooting in Old Town. Police responding to calls about gunfire found one of the boys lying on the sidewalk in the 400 block of West Evergreen Avenue and another around the corner in the 1300 block of North Hudson Avenue.
“The two brothers, as far as we can tell, they didn’t have any documented gang affiliation,” said Johnson, who noted police recovered video of the shooting. “But the individuals they were with did.”
While journalists suggested that the police department was caught off guard by gang violence linked to large crowds around Wrigley Field, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson insists that extra resources were deployed to the most dangerous neighborhoods around Chicago.
“It was a tough weekend, but that just goes back to what I’ve been saying all the time,” he told reporters. “Listen, until we start holding repeat gun offenders accountable for these crimes, we’re going to keep seeing cycles of gun violence like this.”
Johnson denied that the department was caught off guard by the mostly gang violence on the South and West sides while deploying hundreds of extra officers for crowd control outside Wrigley Field for the Cubs’ three World Series games over the weekend.
“We had canceled days off as well as (required) 12-hour shifts over the entire weekend, so I’m confident that we had the resources out there” in the most dangerous neighborhoods, he said.
According to HeyJackass!, killings from this weekend bring YTD Chicago homicides up to 646, a 51% increase versus last year.
Meanwhile, YTD killings imply a run-rate of 775 homicides for the year which would be the highest since the mid-90s.
And, of course, the majority of the violent crime continues to occur in the gang-ridden South and West side neighborhoods.
Finally, roughly 95% of the violent crime committed so far in 2016 has been against minority citizens with nearly 80% of the shootings going unsolved.