Over 100 kids shot near Chicago schools in last 5 years, data analysis shows

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Tom Jones WLS logo
Friday, February 2, 2024
Over 100 kids shot near Chicago schools in last 5 years: data
CPD statistics analyzed by the ABC7 Data Team found over 100 children and teens have been shot within one-tenth of a mile of Chicago schools during school hours in the last 5 years

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Nearly eight people are shot each day in Chicago, and data analysis shows that in the last five years more than 100 of them have been kids and teens within one-tenth of a mile of a school.

About 2,500 times each year, Chicago law enforcement has to track and trace the guns used to shoot people.

From the deadly Senn High School shooting this week, to the lunchtime attack on Wabash Avenue last week, CPD detectives are being faced with new questions about whether shooters carried newfangled firepower: if they had homemade guns, or were armed with illegally converted automatic weapons.

Shootings at or near schools have now surpassed the 100 mark during the past five years according to Chicago police statistics analyzed by the ABC7 Data Team.

RELATED: CPS student killed in Edgewater drive-by shooting ID'd; 2 other teens injured, officials say

That same analysis found over the past five years, 106 children and teens have been shot within a tenth of a mile of Chicago schools during school days between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Twenty of those shootings have been fatal.

The shootings occurring near 90 CPS and charter schools. Wednesday's shooting was the only one to have happened near Senn High School in the past five years.

READ MORE: CPD increases patrols at Senn High School after nearby shooting leaves 1 student dead, 2 wounded

Officials with The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told the I-Team they are currently assisting Chicago police on the two most recent deadly street ambushes.

ATF is also helping local police departments to determine whether guns are homemade or have been altered and turned into fully automatic weapons with tiny "switches" that often escape detection.

The Illinois Lake County Sheriff's Department recently underwent training about them.

MORE COVERAGE: 2 students killed in Loop shooting outside of high school ID'd

"The ATF came up here and put on this presentation to make officers aware of it. Because these are newer trends and things not seen as frequently. Officers were not always aware of what they were seeing. The ATF was great at showing us how easily they can be acquired, how easily they can be manufactured and how functional they can be at times," said Sgt. Matthew Harmon, with the Lake County Special Investigations Group.

Will Panoke, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for ATF in Chicago, said ATF partners with all the federal and local law enforcement agencies to try and stem the flow of the proliferation of machine gun conversion devices. They also work with local law enforcement to help them understand how to identify the gun switches and how to investigate the devices.

"A single piece that can be affixed to the back of a firearm, a lot of them now, they're so flush, you can't even really recognize it, especially if an officer is busy working their day to day shift in their operations," said Panoke.

ATF data shows the agency is seeing a six-fold increase in seized switches across the U.S. in the past five years.