5 dead, 55 shot in Memorial Day weekend shootings, sources say

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Monday, May 30, 2016
4 dead, 48 wounded in Memorial Day weekend shootings
Four people were killed, including a 15-year-old girl, and at least 48 more have been wounded in shootings across Chicago over Memorial Day weekend.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The police superintendent has spent the weekend - not at police headquarters - but out on the streets.

A source tells ABC7 unofficial, internal police department data has this year's shootings surpassing the number during last year's Memorial Day weekend.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson says the violence has to do with "too many guns and too many people willing to use them."

That may be the reason for an unofficial tally that includes five people killed and 55 others hurt in shootings from 12:01 a.m. Friday until around 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Those numbers do not include three highway shootings under Illinois State Police jurisdiction.

To break those numbers down: Last year over the Memorial Day weekend there were 48 shootings and 14 homicides were recorded.

The year before there were 26 shootings and seven murders.

The department said the official numbers come out Tuesday and they do not have any scheduled updates Monday.

"I've been out in several communities since Friday, and I do feel that positive vibe from that. So it is encouraging, but there's still a lot more work to be done," Johnson said.

The superintendent says "any amount of violence is unacceptable." He said he will remain visible on the streets but says he needs some help, especially from parents.

The most recent homicide happened Saturday evening in the Fuller Park neighborhood on the South Side.

Garvin Whitmore, 27, was sitting in the driver seat of a vehicle with 26-year-old Ashley Harrison about 5:20 p.m. in the 200 block of West Root when someone walked up to the vehicle and shot the man in the head, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Whitmore, of the 5800 block of West 63rd Place, was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:29 p.m., authorities said.

After he was shot, Harrison got out of the vehicle, fired several shots as the shooter ran away and threw the weapon to the ground, police said. No one else was injured.

Harrison was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon without a FOID card, and ordered held on a $250,000 bond at a Sunday hearing, authorities said. As of Sunday night, no one was in custody for the homicide.

Earlier Saturday, a 23-year-old man was shot to death in the Portage Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

Damien Cionzynski got into a fight with two other males inside a business about 5:15 a.m. in the 6300 block of West Montrose, according to police and the medical examiner's office.

Cionzynski was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. He lived in the 4400 block of North Nashville Avenue in Harwood Heights.

A few hours earlier, 15-year-old Veronica Lopez was passenger in a vehicle with a 28-year-old man in the 2400 block of North Lake Shore Drive when a black Nissan pulled alongside them and someone inside opened fire about 1:30 a.m., authorities said.

They drove to Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, and the girl was later transferred to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 2:59 a.m., authorities said. She lived in the 5100 block of West Fullerton.

The man was shot in the arm and suffered a graze wound to the head, police said. His condition had stabilized. Investigators think the shooting was either gang- or road rage-related.

The holiday weekend's first fatal shooting happened late Friday, when a 25-year-old man was shot to death in the Ashburn neighborhood on the Southwest Side.

Just before 11 p.m., Mark Lindsey was sitting in a vehicle parked near his home in the 3700 block of West 75th Place when a gunman walked up and shot him repeatedly across the chest and body, authorities said. Lindsey tried to drive away, but crashed into another vehicle on the block.

He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 11:34 p.m., authorities said.

The latest nonfatal shootings happened early Monday on the South and West sides.

About 1:30 a.m., two 18-year-old men were on a sidewalk in the 1300 block of North Pulaski in Humboldt Park when someone walked up and started shooting, hitting one man in the back and the other in the leg, police said. They were both taken to Stroger Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized.

About 1 a.m., two people walked up to a 28-year-old man in Park Manor's 400 block of East 74th Street, flashed a gun and demanded his things, police said. The man ran away, then heard gunfire and realized he'd been shot in the buttocks. His condition was stabilized at Stroger.

About 12:30 a.m., a 35-year-old man was shot in the leg by someone in a silver Trailblazer driving through the 900 block of North Massasoit in the Austin neighborhood, police said. He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where his condition was stabilized.

At least 43 more people have been wounded in other Chicago shootings since 9:25 p.m. Friday.

Fifty-five people were shot, 12 fatally, in Memorial Day weekend shootings in 2015.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.