Nation & World

More than 100 people shot in Chicago over long Fourth of July weekend

An evidence marker sits next to a shell casing at the scene of a recent Chicago shooting.
An evidence marker sits next to a shell casing at the scene of a recent Chicago shooting. TNS

Chicago saw one of its most violent Fourth of July weekends in recent years: At least 101 people were shot between Friday afternoon and early Wednesday, nearly half of them over 12 hours as the long holiday drew to a close. Fourteen of the wounded died.

The last time the Fourth holiday spanned four full days was in 2013, when July 4 fell on a Thursday and many people had Friday off. At least 74 people were shot between Wednesday evening and early Monday that year, and 12 of them died, according to Tribune data.

The violence this year was largely confined to the South and West sides, including districts where the department has installed what it calls strategic support centers and predictive technology. Hundreds of officers on overtime were also deployed to those districts.

The youngest person shot over the weekend was a 13-year-old boy seriously wounded in Gage Park on Friday night. The oldest person shot was a 60-year-old man in the Lawndale neighborhood.

The weekend had been relatively calm by early Tuesday afternoon when police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced the arrests of 58 people on drug and gun charges “to keep residents and visitors safe in every neighborhood.”

But within hours, violence erupted in nearly every police district south of North Avenue, according to data kept by the Tribune. At least 41 people were shot between 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Only two of those 41 were shot north of Chicago Avenue. The two men, 19 and 52, were wounded around 8:15 p.m. in the 1600 block of North Major Avenue, the same block where an 8-year-old girl was shot last summer.

Sunday and Monday nights had both been calm, by summer standards, with 17 people shot over the two days, according to Tribune data. The weekend began more violently, with 19 people shot on Friday night and 23 on Saturday.

The Harrison District on the West Side, which had gone without any shootings over the Memorial Day weekend, recorded 14 people shot over the long Fourth weekend.

At one homicide scene in the district, onlookers peeked around the entrance to the Green Line station at Pulaski Road and Lake Street, trying to get a glimpse of the body of a man chased down and shot early Wednesday.

The shooting happened on two sides of a popular West Side liquor store. Officers found shell casings and one man shot behind the store, next to an alley. The other wounded man fell face-up on a sidewalk underneath the elevated train tracks.

A garbage can fire burned as officers counted shell casings and draped tape from support pillars holding up the “L” tracks. A fire engine backed down the alley, and firefighters dumped the trash and pumped water from a tin can onto the smoldering waste.

The weekend violence brings the total number of people shot in Chicago this year to more than 1,800, still below the 2,035 recorded at this time last year, according to Tribune data.