29 people shot over weekend, at least 6 killed

At least one suspect charged
April 20, 2008 6:07:24 AM PDT
In a show of force from Chicago Police officers have hit the streets on a particularly violent weekend.

At least six people have been shot to death and more than two dozen others wounded in shootings since Friday afternoon in Chicago.

At one point, 18 shootings had occurred in 17 hours. It was just one snapshot in time, and a police spokesperson says it's not indicative of an uptick in crime. Nonetheless, police and community members are concerned.

Police made their presence known in the Roseland neighborhood Saturday night. They took roll call at the intersection of 115th and Halsted, just a few blocks from where 34-year-old Marcus Hendricks died. He owned a plumbing business and was murdered after, police say, a former employee robbed him.

"My brother was a dynamic compassionate giving person, very generous. And that's how he found himself in this predicament having hired an ex-convict. Giving people a second chance. He believed in that," said Sharon Hendricks, victim's sister.

Prosecutors have charged 39-year-old Bennie Teague of Chicago for the murder of Marcus Hendricks and with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at police. Police took the suspect into custody Saturday, but not before the man allegedly opened fire on police, unloading 17 shots from an AK-47.

Three hours and 40 minutes later, on the Southeast Side, 65-year-old Ricardo Sanches died after a robbery attempt on his front porch. An hour earlier, two teens collapsed and died after being shot on the steps of a church. Despite all that, a police spokesperson says the rash of shootings isn't all that unusual.

"Crime breeds with warm weather. More people are outside. It's just a given we're going to see a little bit more activity," said Monique Bond, Chicago Police spokesperson.

For the first three months of this yea, Chicago Police report, the number of murders are down 1.1 percent. Criminal sexual assaults are down nearly 14 percent. Robberies, though, are up just over 16 percent.

Police statistics also shed light on who is involved in crime and how the killing is happening: So far this year, police report 81 percent of the city's murders involve guns. Thirty percent are classified as gang-related, 15 percent involve robberies and 11 percent arose out of domestic disputes.

Police say 70 percent of murder victims had prior arrest records. Ninety-seven percent of those arrested for murder had a record.

What can you do?

"What neighbors can do is they have info about gangs or other suspicious activities or people with guns, they should call 911, call the police," Bond said.

One more statistic: over the last three months, 69 percent of the murders in Chicago happened outside. That's why every year police can say with certainty, as the weather warms up and more people are out and about, that stat is sure to rise.


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