Tragic Fourth of July Weekend in Chicago: 109 PEOPLE SHOT, 19 FATALITIE Amid Nationwide Gun Violence Decline

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Gun violence is down across America this year, but it peaks every summer, and Chicago’s Fourth of July weekend was no exception, with 109 people shot, 19 of whom died, according to police in a Monday news conference.

According to police data, all of the victims were youths and men aged between 16 and 36 years old.

This year’s deadly holiday weekend coincides with a recent decline in gun violence in the city and throughout the country.

As of June 24, Chicago had witnessed 1,105 gunshot occurrences this year, down 6% from the same time last year and 12% over the previous two years. As of June 24, there had been 271 gun deaths in the city, a 12% decrease from the same period last year and a 16% decrease over the previous two years, according to Chicago Police Department data.

According to Chicago police, 57 people were shot and eight died over the long holiday weekend last year, from Friday, June 30 at 6 p.m. to Tuesday, July 4 at 11:59 p.m.

July 4 is the busiest day for mass shootings in the United States, with more than any other single calendar day in nearly a decade, according to a 2023 CNN analysis of the Gun Violence Archive’s mass shooting statistics since 2014. July 5 saw the second-highest number of shootings.

Gun Violence is a Societal Concern’

In the United States, law enforcement statistics and independent academics have consistently identified the summer months as a time of increased gun violence, with July 1-7 being particularly violent each year for both mass shootings and individual instances.

Heat, according to experts, can exacerbate discomfort and aggression, potentially leading to violence at a time when children are out of school and warmer weather draws more people outside in a country with more guns than people.

“When we look at what happened this weekend, we always like to say that it’s a police issue,” Chicago Police Department Superintendent Larry Snelling said during the news conference. “This is a social issue. The police cannot be in everyone’s garden. They cannot be in every home. They cannot infiltrate every gathering where there is a chance that someone will show up with a gun.”

“Everyone needs to be involved in this, this cannot just be the police department alone,” according to him.

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On Friday, after scores of people had been shot in Chicago, Mayor Brandon Johnson issued a statement condemning the violence.

“We are devastated by the recent violence that has left our city in a state of grief and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and communities impacted by these recent events,” Johnson said in a news release. “The City of Chicago is committed to ensuring the safety of all residents and visitors.”

According to Johnson, the city had canceled police officers’ time off to “maximize presence and ensure prompt incident response,” activated an emergency services assistance center to support residents, and planned a community rally for Friday afternoon to “promote bonding, support, and healing.”

Despite these efforts, the shootings continued.

Snelling requested public cooperation and suggestions to help cops find suspects, particularly those who “make the choice” to shoot women and children.

“Those people have to be taken off the street,” Snelling pleaded. “They need to be put away. If we don’t do this, we’re failing other families. We are failing people in our city.”

According to online records from the Chicago Police Department, one of those killed over the weekend was an 8-year-old boy who was shot along with two other boys, ages 5 and 8.

Several teenagers aged 15 to 16 were also shot over the weekend, according to police.

In another case, eight people aged 18 to 74 were shot, while seven others aged 15 to 40 were shot. The 40-year-old passed away, according to the police department.

Officers are training for the Democratic National Convention next month to be better prepared for potential protests or civil unrest, according to CNN.

“Along with that, we have been working on a neighborhood plan to make sure that we’re not pulling resources that are necessary to keep our neighborhoods safe to place down and around the footprint of the DNC,” he said.

“Generations of disinvestment and deep disenfranchisement” have led to the state of violence within the city, Johnson said during Monday’s news conference. He is pushing for more federal resources to increase intervention and prevention of gun violence, including “more boots on the ground” to help get illegal guns off the streets.

“We are going block to block, neighborhood by neighborhood, to make sure that the city is safe and ultimately stop this violence,” added Johnson. “These are not just numbers on pages. “These are our fellow Chicagoans.”

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