CHICAGO — Gang killers, knowing their targets would be home for Christmas, launched a bloody weekend of shootings in Chicago that left 11 dead and another 37 wounded.
"We now know that the majority of these shootings and homicides were targeted attacks by gangs against potential rivals who were at holiday gatherings. This was followed by several acts of retaliatory gun violence," police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement Monday.
"In response, we adjusted police deployments to address retaliation and collectively officers seized a slightly larger number of guns — 45 guns from city streets since Friday. This is a bit higher than a typical weekend and shows us that activity was high in gang areas."
Chicago Police renewed a familiar plea for help after the bloody weekend.
"While we have promising leads, this unacceptable level of gun violence demonstrates the clear and present need for policy makers to convene in January and give Chicago the gun sentencing tools against repeat offenders so that we can adequately hold people accountable," Guglielmi said.
"Detectives are making progress in several incidents. So far multiple people of interest are being questioned and we are following up on some promising leads. The violence primarily occurred in areas with historical gang conflicts on the South and West Side of Chicago."
While Guglielmi reiterated the police's constant reminder to elected officials in Chicago and Springfield to enact tougher gun laws, he also said the most of the shootings are gang affiliated.
One of the shootings from Christmas day left two people dead and five others wounded in Chatham. Family members at the scene have identified them as James Gill, 18, and Roy Gill, 21, according to the Tribune.
"Ninety percent of those fatally wounded had gang affiliations, criminal histories and were pre-identified by the department's strategic subject algorithm as being a potential suspect or victim of gun violence," Guglielmi said.
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