CHICAGO (WLS) --At least 68 people were shot, 8 fatally, in attacks across the city over Thanksgiving weekend, according to Chicago police.
Last year, 8 people were killed and 20 were wounded in shootings during the same four-day holiday weekend, beginning at 7 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving.
The weekend's latest homicide happened at 2:03 p.m. Sunday in the Gresham neighborhood on the South Side. Delvon Weston, 18, was sitting in a parked vehicle in the 8800-block of South Marshfield Avenue when someone fired shots from a dark-colored SUV, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner's office. The SUV, described as being dark in color, was driven away from the scene, headed north on Marshfield. Weston, who lived in the first block of East 101st Place, suffered several shots to the chest and took himself to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 2:22 p.m.
About 10 minutes earlier, a 37-year-old man was shot dead in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side. Rickey J. King was with a group at 1:52 p.m. in the 3800-block of West Adams Street when someone across the street opened fire; the assailant then fled on south on foot. King was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene at 2:01 p.m., according to police and the medical examiner's office. He lived in the 8800 block of South Burley Avenue.
At 2:38 a.m. Sunday in the Homan Square neighborhood on the West Side, two men were seated in a parked vehicle in the 3400-block of West Harrison Street when a silver car stopped in front of them and two males wearing hooded sweatshirts exited the car and opened fire, police said. Erik Peoples, 30, of the 5900-block of North Sheridan Road, suffered gunshot wounds to the head and body and was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:53 p.m., authorities said. The other man, 31, was shot in the right arm and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.
A 56-year-old man was gunned down at 3:38 p.m. Saturday in the South Side Woodlawn neighborhood. Witnesses told police they saw two men get into a fight and then heard a gunshot in the 6600-block of South Kenwood Avenue. The man was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene at 3:47 p.m., authorities said. His name has not been released.
About 2:15 a.m. Saturday, two gunmen opened fire outside a house party in the South Chicago neighborhood's 8800-block of South Exchange Avenue, authorities said. A 20-year-old man shot in the chest was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical examiner's office has not released his name. Another 20-year-old man shot in the groin was taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, along with a 21-year-old man wounded in the arm, police said. A 25-year-old woman was taken to Stroger Hospital with a graze wound to the head, a 22-year-old man shot in the hand went to Trinity Hospital and a 23-year-old man shot in the arm went to the University of Chicago Medical Center. Their conditions all had stabilized, police said.
Friday evening, a 16-year-old boy was slain in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the South Side. Diego Alvarado heard gunfire and realized he'd been shot in the back, groin and arm about 6:40 p.m. near his home in the 4800-block of South Throop Street, authorities said. Alvarado died at Stroger at 7:32 p.m.
Five hours earlier, two people robbed 24-year-old Thomas Smith and then shot him in the abdomen shortly before 2 p.m. in the 7300 block of South Lowe Avenue in the South Side Englewood neighborhood, authorities said. Smith, of the 9600 block of South Dobson, died at Stroger at 4:30 p.m.
About 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Chicago police officers fatally shot a man suspected of shooting a 24-year-old pregnant woman in the abdomen during a domestic incident in the 4600-block of West Adams in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, police said. She was taken to Stroger in serious condition. The suspect ran from the scene, but later fired shots at officers on two separate occasions and was eventually gunned down when officers returned fire in the 4500-block of West Washington, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital. The medical examiner's office has not released his name.
Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Friday, officers on patrol near West Harrison Street and South Central Park Avenue in Homan Square heard gunfire and saw 37-year-old Cleotha Mitchell fatally shoot 35-year-old Jeffery Banks, authorities said. The officers "engaged the offender" and shot him, according to police, who said Mitchell had shot a second person in the arm. That person's condition was stabilized at a hospital, while Mitchell and Banks were pronounced dead at the scene at 12:44 a.m.
The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the officers' use of force in both the West Garfield Park and Homan Square shootings, as well as that of a CPD sergeant who fatally shot 19-year-old Kajuan Raye in the back shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday in the West Englewood neighborhood. The sergeant said he saw Raye point a gun at him twice during a foot chase, authorities said. Investigators have not found the weapon the sergeant claimed he saw and Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson on Saturday said he's relieving the sergeant of his police powers.
The weekend's latest nonfatal shooting happened at 3:10 a.m. Monday in the South Side Park Manor neighborhood. A 24-year-old man was walking on the sidewalk in the 7200 block of South King Drive when he was approached by two females and two males, one of whom pulled out a gun and announced a robbery, according to police. He surrendered his personal belongings to the suspect, who subsequently shot him in the left leg. The suspects then ran away. The man was taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.
At least 51 more people were wounded in other attacks between 7 p.m. Wednesday and 1 a.m. Monday.
Call for more funding for black neighborhoods in Chicago
Congressman Danny Davis and a group of African-American leaders believe more resources would be a big step in curbing violence.
With one of their own, Davis, grieving the loss of a grandson, Chicago African-American political leaders assembled at City Hall to declare what one called "a state of emergency."
"The black community should be proud today because we are saying 'enough is enough,'" said State Rep. La Shawn K Ford, (D) Chicago.
The politicians - city, county and state - who joined Congressman Davis, acknowledged the worsening black-on-black violence problem. But they offered no new programs to address the unemployment and poverty they say is at the root of it.
"One way is to declare that poverty is an enemy, no matter what your race, gender or ethnic background," said Davis.
On Saturday, Congressman Davis buried his 15-year-old grandson Javon Wilson, who was shot to death in his home by two teenagers during a dispute over borrowed clothing.
So far this year, Chicago police report 4,000-plus shootings and over 700 homicides, the vast majority in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods.
"The poverty that exists throughout the city of Chicago, throughout the county of Cook and the state of Illinois is deplorable," said Cook co. Cmsr. Richard Boykin.
"There's an inextricable link between poverty and violence," said State Sen. Kwame Raoul, (D) Chicago.
"I do not have confidence in our black elected officials at all," said contractor Marzette Fox, who crashed the news conference.
Fox said the politicians, whose governments added together already spend billions, are not securing a fair share of construction jobs for blacks in the public or private sectors.
"When are we going to come together and attack this construction industry?" Fox asked. "It's controlled by the unions. You can clearly see, African-Americans are not working."
The news conference ended with the politicians on the defensive.
"We're constantly pushing that issue every day, all the time. But can we do more? Absolutely," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th Ward.
Earlier in the news conference, Congressman Davis vowed to renew a push for new federal spending guidelines that would devote more money to impoverished neighborhoods around the country.
Other than that, there was nothing new and targeted toward Chicago's violence program that claimed his grandson's life.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.