CHICAGO — A frustrated Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, speaking on the heels of 13 murders in Chicago over the Labor Day weekend, pleaded for help from the community, legislators and parents.
"It's not a police issue, it's a society issue," the superintendent said. "Impoverished neighborhoods, people that don't have hope are the [people committing these crimes]. You show me a man without hope, I'll show you a man who's willing to pick up a gun.
"A lot of it is driven by social media beefs. But the bottom line is that we've seen a proliferation of guns in the city of Chicago that's just ridiculous."
Gun violence wracked Chicago's streets once again over the weekend, with 13 men shot dead — including nine people on Labor Day alone. Another 51 people were shot but survived their wounds.
The Labor Day weekend violence included an elderly preacher in a wheelchair allegedly slaying another preacher, a pregnant woman being shot in her stomach, a man on the Dan Ryan Expy. getting hit by a bullet and two separate double-homicides within hours of each other Monday night.
The shootings come amid an increasingly violent year in Chicago, with a body count that has already surpassed the number for all of 2015 — with nearly four months to go.
Chicago Police, according to the Tribune, attributed the surge of violence on Monday to a long weekend of simmering tension that exploded in retaliatory shootings.
Johnson said 70 percent of the murder victims were on the department's "Strategic Subject List," a list of people police anticipate will be shooters or shooting victims based on criminal records and associations.
The victims had a combined 700 arrests as well, he said.
"Think about that. Almost 700 times, they've been arrested for their dangerous lifestyles. Let me give you some more detail. One of our murder victims had 2 unlawful weapons arrests in 3 years — the most recent in April — and yet here in September he's out on the street to be killed," Johnson said.
"Another murder victim was sentenced to just 1 year for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in August of 2013 and now he's a statistic. A nonfatal shooting victim was arrested for armed robbery in April of this year, and now here we are in September and he's a victim of gun violence.
"This list goes on and on and on and on. And while my point is not to revictimize the victims, it's important that we all wrap our heads around what's happening here in the city of Chicago.
Johnson reiterated his constant call for tougher penalties for gun offenders.
"We know social and economic ills drive a lot of this violence," he said. "But at the same time when I go home at night, and I see my neighbors, they're asking me how come African-Americans won't step up to the plate and be parents to their children. So all of this fundamentally starts at home. You should know right from wrong. But until we show these repeat offenders that were serious, this is going to keep occurring. But that doesn't mean CPD is going to stop doing its job, because it's not."
Among the violence:
At 10:45 p.m. Monday, two men were killed and another three people were wounded in a drive-by shooting in East Garfield Park.
At 7:15 p.m. Monday, two men died after being shot in Ogden Park in West Englewood, including one who was out walking his dog.
At 6:48 p.m., a man between the ages of 18 and 25 was shot to death in Englewood.
Between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, a man was killed and two others were wounded, including a pregnant woman, in Back of the Yards.
At 1:26 p.m., a man was found slain in Brighton Park.
At 9:30 a.m. Monday, a man was killed and another was wounded in a shooting in Englewood.
Early Monday morning, an 80-year-old retired minister was found shot to death in the parking lot of his South Shore retirement home. Witnesses said he was gunned down by another preacher, one who uses a wheelchair.
• Most recently, three people were shot and wounded in Englewood early Tuesday morning.
• At 2:17 a.m., an 18-year-old man was walking in the 900 block of North Long Avenue in Austin when he heard gunshots and felt pain, according to a police incident report.
The man was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was considered "stable" with gunshot wounds in his back and buttocks, police said.
• At 11:09 p.m. Monday night, a 39-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman were sitting in a parked car in the 3300 block of West Flournoy Street in East Garfield Park when the heard gunshots and felt pain, police said.
The woman was shot in her right arm and back, and the man was grazed in his neck.
Both were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where they were considered "stable."
• At 11:01 p.m., two men were driving in the 3300 block of West Douglas Boulevard in North Lawndale when they heard gunshots and felt pain, police said.
One man, 31, was shot in his right wrist, police said. The other man, 26, was grazed in his back and left arm.
Both men were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where they were considered "stable."
Police said the older man is a documented gang member.
• At 8:45 p.m., two teenagers were shot and wounded while walking in Rogers Park.
• At 6:38 p.m., an 18-year-old man was standing at the corner of 28th Street and Kedvale Avenue in North Lawndale when someone started shooting at him, according to Officer Kevin Quaid, a Chicago Police spokesman.
The man ran inside a nearby store, and the shooter kept firing, damaging the storefront, police said.
The man was brought to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was listed in good condition with a gunshot wound in his leg, Quaid said.
Police said the man is a documented gang member and did not cooperate with authorities.
• At 5:32 p.m., a 22-year-old man was shot in his shoulder in Pilsen.
• At 3:51 p.m., a 19-year-old man was walking on the sidewalk in the 7000 block of South Eberhart Avenue in Park Manor when someone shot at him from a passing dark-colored sedan, police said.
The man was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was considered "stable" with a gunshot wound in his right leg, Quaid said.
Police said the man is a documented gang member.
• At 10:05 a.m. Monday, a man was shot and wounded in Austin.
No one is in custody for any of the shootings, police said.
Three men were killed and nine people were wounded between Sunday morning and Monday morning.
One man was killed and 10 people were wounded between Saturday morning and Sunday morning.
Eleven people were wounded between Friday morning and Saturday morning.
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