With Memorial Day weekend halfway through, 40 people have fallen victim to gun violence in Chicago. As of Sunday morning, four people were killed, including a 15-year-old girl, Veronica Lopez, who was shot while riding in a Jeep along Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, the Chicago Tribune reported.
These numbers are up from last year, where 12 people were killed and 44 people were wounded over the entire holiday weekend in 2015. These shootings also seem to be concentrated in one area with the mostly Black and Latino west side of the city accounting for half of this violence.
First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante confirmed that police would increase an already beefed-up presence in that district for the rest of the weekend “because they certainly have had an unacceptable level of shootings Friday and Saturday,” the Trib noted. “The 11th District — the West Side — unfortunately traditionally has been a very tough place to police,” he said at a morning news conference.
Others killed included:
- Garvin Whitmore, 27, who was shot in the head while sitting in a car with a woman on Saturday afternoon.
- A man in his 20s slain in front of his mother’s house on the Southwest Side.
- Young man gunned down inside a gas station on the Northwest Side.
The city has also had to respond to a recent rash of gun violence that has been occurring on the city’s expressways. According to the Washington Post, there have already been 20 shootings on Chicago expressways this year, compared with 12 over the same period of 2015.
“A lot of these expressway shootings go from verbal confrontations that happen inside the city and then the folks involved get on the expressways and go after each other,” said Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Post.
We all know that Chicago is no stranger to heightened gun violence.
Dubbed “Chiraq,” the Windy City has struggled with crippling gang and gun violence for years, which appears to only spike in warmer weather, The Insquistr pointed out. Not to mention, high levels of poverty and racial segregation, deep mistrust of the Chicago police and low morale among officers may also help fuel these rates too.
Either way, this senseless violence really has to stop.