Thirteen people were killed, and another 52 were injured in shootings over the weekend throughout Chicago. The killings put Chicago over the top at 500 killings on the year, roughly double the total from 2015.
Nearly half of the shootings occurred Monday, something police officials explained as “retaliatory acts” mostly from gangs after a weekend of getting together for parties throughout some of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
The victims of the violence included an 80 year-old who was shot dead after an altercation with another man. Another victim, who was last listed as in critical condition, was pregnant with a child who was due in September. She was shot in the abdomen. The bloody weekend affected the entire spectrum of ages. From the unborn child to the 80-year-old victim, the list of victims paints a startling picture of how wide-reaching Chicago’s gun violence truly is.
Police and witnesses described some of the shootings, many of which involved teenagers and college-aged men. On Labor Day, a man was walking his dog down the street when a vehicle pulled up and shot him to death. A second story describes how a three people in a white van started to harass a driver and as the driver attempted to flee, shot him repeatedly in the head and in the chest.
Violence over Labor Day weekend is nothing new for the Windy City, and police officials said they were prepared for the uptick in violence, despite tense relations between police officers and city leaders.
Headed into the holiday weekend, Chicago Police Union leaders urged officers not to volunteer for additional shifts over the weekend as a protest for what union officials called a “show of unity and to protest the continued disrespect of Chicago Police Officers and the killings of Law Enforcement Officers across our Country.”
Despite the calls to boycott extra work, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Chicago Tribune that the department had enough volunteer police officers to staff “several hundred” additional officers each day over the historically bloody weekend.
Chicago’s 90 homicides in August was the highest murder count for a month in 20 years. Through the first eight months of 2016, 472 people have been killed, which is one shy of the total number killed in all of last year in a city with some of the strictest gun laws in America.