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The weekend of July 4 started violently in Chicago shot by 22 people on Friday, including four fatally, all within the space of 20 hours, according to Chicago police.
Only one suspect and one interested party were arrested.
“We must remember on every watch every day that our brave men and women of the Chicago Police Department are literally risking their lives for our safety,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference Friday, reminding residents to “say thank you.” to the agents.
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Chief Inspector David Brown of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) said the July 4 weekend is a “big weekend” and the month of July is “very challenging” in terms of public safety.
“There’s no reason why everyone can’t enjoy the holidays and the safety of every event. Parents, please, please know where your children are,” he said. “Don’t leave them to the government to be the parents of your children. We need you, parents, please, to help us make sure your young people are safe.”
A mass shooting occurred outside a downtown business on the 400 block of S. Wells Street around 2 a.m. Friday. Five male victims got into a verbal dispute with the perpetrator, who pulled out a gun and fired multiple shots at all five victims, two of whom were pronounced dead.
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The two victims who died were a 29-year-old man who suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of the head and a 25-year-old man who suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. Authorities took both victims to hospitals, where they were later pronounced.
The other victims are another 29-year-old man, a 35-year-old man and a man of unknown age, all of whom suffered injuries and are in good condition.
Half an hour later, a 15-year-old boy was shot in the left leg and buttock on the 5900 block of S. La Salle Street.
Later on Friday morning, just before 8:30 a.m., a uniformed Chicago police officer was shot multiple times in the 1300 block of W. Taylor Street. Authorities took a suspect into custody and transported the injured officer to a nearby hospital, where he remained in “serious but stable” condition.
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At about 3 p.m., a 17-year-old girl was fatally shot in the upper body in a commercial parking lot by a suspect who passed her on a bicycle. Authorities transported the girl to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, and took an interested party into custody.
Three hours later at 6:00 p.m., a male victim, 26, died of gunshot wounds to the arm and head at 6500 block of S. Wolcott Street.
A second mass shooting occurred at about 9 p.m. on block 3800 of West Monroe Street. Two female victims, 20 and 36, and two male victims, 25 and 41, suffered gunshot wounds. No one is in custody.
Nine additional victims were shot between 3 a.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, bringing the total to at least 22, according to major incident reports from the CPD. However, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that a total of 25 victims were shot on Friday.
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Lightfoot praised a “steady decline” in shootings and murders in the Windy City during a news conference Friday. The homicide rate is down 10% so far in 2022 compared to the same time last year, with 304 homicide incidents this year compared to 336 in 2020. The homicide rate is also down 2% compared to 2020, but they’re up by 26 % and 18% compared to 2019 and 2018 respectively.
In addition, the number of shootings has fallen by 15% since the beginning of the year, the mayor said.
“That’s a real, striking presence that I want people to know,” she said.
Rich Guidice, executive director of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management (OEMC), said at the news conference that law enforcement officers are monitoring 240 miles from Chicago and that OEMC receives about 20,000 calls to its 911 centers daily.
OEMC and CPD will monitor weekend events and protests, as well as national events, in an effort to keep the community safe, he added.
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Lightfoot said at the press conference earlier that she often hears from visitors “who have never visited the city of Chicago or who are returning after the pandemic” that the “city looks incredible.”
“Nobody likes the summer and the 4th of July like the city of Chicago,” she told reporters on Friday.