Chicago saw a very violent Father’s Day weekend, with more than 100 people shot and at least 14 killed, including five children, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The number of shootings makes last weekend the most violent weekend of 2020 for the midwestern metropolis, but hardly its deadliest. The last weekend of May saw more than 20 people killed but only 85 people were shot.
The youngest victim of the weekend’s violence was just three years old.
“A 3-year-old boy was fatally wounded when someone opened fire at his father while they were driving in [Chicago’s Austin neighborhood],” the Sun-Times says. “The toddler, identified as Mekay James, was struck in the back about 6:25 p.m. when someone in a blue Honda pulled behind the black SUV the boy’s 27-year-old father was driving in the 600 block of North Central Avenue and fired several rounds, authorities said.”
The police believe Mekay’s father was the intended target of the shooting.
Four other minors were killed, including two teenage boys, who were shot in an alley on the city’s south side, and a teenage girl, who was shot in the neck while sitting in the front room of her home.
In total, 12 minors were among the 104 people shot.
Chicago has seen a marked uptick in violence since allowing coronavirus-related lockdowns to expire and moving into “Phase 1” of reopening the city. Parts of the city, though, are seeing some of the worst gun violence in years, with dozens being shot each weekend — often more than in any year since 2012 when the city reached a peak.
The city’s police superintendent, David Brown, did his best to address the issue Sunday, promising to quell the rising tide of gun violence — and particularly gang-related gun violence — on the city’s south and west sides.
“Tears are a natural reaction to these tragic stories of violence. But we need to do more than just cry,” Brown said at a press conference, according to CBS Chicago. “Let’s keep violent offenders in jail longer, and let’s revamp the home monitoring system. It’s not working.”
Meanwhile, though, Chicago has become a target city for the “Defund the Police” movement and a number of demonstrations are demanding Chicago’s mayor Lori Lightfoot shift funding away from the city’s law enforcement agencies and better finance social services, anti-poverty, and mental health programs. At least two aldermen, members of the Chicago City Council, have proposed near-complete defunding of Chicago’s cops, per the Sun-Times.
Chicago is not alone in being both a target of anti-police agitators and a hotbed of violence. Minneapolis had a mass shooting over the weekend, which left 1 dead and at least 11 injured. Seattle, home to the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest,” or CHOP, also saw a deadly incident of gun violence late last week, followed by two more shootings over the weekend.