Gang violence has been blamed for the bloodshed on the city’s south and west sides Christmas weekend. The city has seen over 700 homicides this year, with the decade-old violence problem that Chicago has been facing looming. While August remains the deadliest month in 2016 for Chicago, with 96 reported, this weekend’s numbers are just as shocking. Most of the 12 that succumbed to their injuries had gang-affiliation with lengthy rap sheets. Many of the other 45 victims are being treated for in area hospitals in serious or critical condition.
Officers arrived to several of the crime scenes to find multiple shooting victims, one scene presented authorities with 7 people shot after a man opened fire on a family party. Those involved range in age from 16 to 45. Several victims were able to reach hospitals for care on their own. Two men in their 20’s walked into St. Bernard Hospital. A 22-year-old went to Advocate Trinity Hospital, and a 34-year old man arrived at a fire station with a gunshot wound to the neck. The violence began Friday afternoon with 5 shot in South Austin, a teenager was shot shortly after, and the night became very busy when officers started receiving calls regarding a shooting just blocks away.
City Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and his team know the score well and have determined that the season’s gatherings were just the opportunity that rivals needed to settle scores, as they knew exactly where the victims would be celebrating the Christmas holiday. When the violence started, it quickly led to retaliation and incidents being reported to authorities continuously over the weekend. A police round-up garnered 45 firearms from gang prone areas in response to the trend. Anthony Gugliemi, Chicago Police Department Spokesman, believes that this holiday season’s activities provide proof that gun laws and sentencing guidelines need to be reevaluated.