Bloodiest Christmas Weekend: 11 Dead, More Than 60 Shot in Chicago

RT, December 27, 2016

More than 60 people were shot, 11 fatally, across Chicago during the holiday weekend, according to police, making it the deadliest weekend in years, with the Windy City reaching a record 753 homicides in 2016.

“We had a reprehensible amount of shootings and murders,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said on Monday, according to WALB.

Many, he said, “were deliberate and planned shootings by one gang against another.”

“They were targeted knowing fully well that individuals would be at homes of family and friends celebrating the holidays. This was followed by several acts of retaliation,” he added.

A total of 61 people were shot in the city during the holiday weekend, and 11 of them died of their wounds, according to the Chicago Tribune. Police said most of the victims were targeted by gang members.

The most recent shooting happened on Monday night, when two teenage girls were shot after their father had left them in a van to go speak to someone in a nearby house. The father’s 13-year-old daughter was shot in the back and is in critical condition. The 14-year-old suffered a graze wound. A two-year-old boy, also in the van, was unharmed, according to police.

The West and South sides of Chicago are the locations of the majority of gun violence in 2016.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said 90 percent of those killed during the weekend “had gang affiliations, criminal histories.”

Police said the father of the teenage girl was a gang member, and they are “are operating under the belief that the father was the intended target.”

Seven people were killed on Christmas Day alone, more than on the holiday the past three years combined, according to the Chicago Tribune, which keeps a running tally.
There were eight shootings involving multiple victims and two double homicides. One attack at a party left two brothers dead and five others wounded. The majority of victims as well as assailants were black.

Community activists are calling on witnesses to break the code of silence.

“We have to take our communities back. We have to take it back non-violently and peacefully,” said community activist Jessica Disu, according to WGN.

“We must hold our police accountable as well as community members who are perpetrating crimes accountable. Enough is enough.”

Superintendent Johnson called on lawmakers to “give judges the autonomy to sentence repeat gun offenders to the upper end of the gun-sentencing range,” according to the New York Post.

The last weekend of mass destruction was the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, when 61 people were injured and nine killed.

In September, Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow PUSH Coalition said Chicago was in a state of “undeclared war.”

At a press conference on Thanksgiving Day, Rev. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition urged President-elect Donald Trump to make fighting poverty a top priority in his administration.

“Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction,” Rev. Jackson said. “There’s 700 empty places at the Thanksgiving table. That’s 700 heartbreaking reasons why we must recommit and redouble our efforts to stop the violence and eradicate poverty in urban and rural America.”

So far this year, the Windy City has seen more than 4,000 people shot and more than 750 have died. It is ranked as the deadliest among cities with more than a million residents and in 2016 it has recorded more murders and shooting victims than New York City and Los Angeles combined, according to CBS News.

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