Tom Schuba, Chicago Sun Times, June 21, 2020
Fourteen people were killed and at least 90 others were wounded in citywide gun violence over Father’s Day weekend, marking the most shootings in a single weekend this year.
A toddler and four teenagers were among those shot to death between Friday evening and Monday morning, according to data maintained by the Chicago Sun-Times. Seven other juveniles were also struck by gunfire.
The spate of shootings came just three weeks after 24 people were killed and at least 61 others were shot during Chicago’s most violent weekend in modern history. That historic surge in gun violence happened amid the unrest that gripped the city when a downtown protest over the officer-involved killing of George Floyd devolved into chaos and led to days of looting.
‘Bullets destroy neighborhoods’
This weekend’s youngest victim, 3-year-old Mekay James, was shot Saturday evening when someone opened fire at his father as they drove through the 600 block of North Central in Austin, according to Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Mekay’s father rushed him to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
During a news conference Sunday, Police Supt. David Brown mourned the boy’s death and also reflected on the killing of 13-year-old Amaria Jones, who was shot hours after Mekay when a stray bullet tore through her apartment in the same neighborhood and pierced her neck as she watched television.
Amaria died at Stroger Hospital a short time later, authorities said. Two teenage boys, ages 15 and 16, were also wounded in the attack.
As Brown repeatedly pushed to “keep violent offenders in jail longer” and revamp the home monitoring program, he also hammered home the pervasive impact of gun violence.
Amaria’s death marks the second shooting death in her family in less than nine months. Her cousin, Derrick Burns, was gunned down in September in the 700 block of North Cicero, less than a mile from where she was killed. He was just 20.
Earlier Saturday afternoon, two teenage boys were shot to death in South Chicago. Charles Riley, 16, and Jasean Francis, 17, were killed while they walked through an alley in the 7900 block of South Luella Avenue, officials said.
Police have since released surveillance photos of the suspected shooter.