Chicago shootings: At least 109 shot, 19 fatally, in citywide holiday weekend gun violence, CPD says

Mayor Brandon Johnson pressed for solutions after violent holiday weekend

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team, Jasmine Minor, Tre Ward, and Sarah Schulte WLS logo
Tuesday, July 9, 2024
At least 109 shot, 19 fatally, in holiday weekend shootings: CPD
Melvin Hill, 36, was killed in a South Austin, Chicago shooting on Central near West End.

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One hundred and nine people were shot, 19 fatally, in gun violence across Chicago from midnight Wednesday to midnight Monday during the extended Fourth of July holiday weekend, police said.

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CPD Supt. Larry Snelling and Mayor Brandon Johnson both called for accountability for those responsible for the shootings during a press conference on Monday.

"This is a choice. The choice to kill. The choice to kill women, the choice to kill children, the choice to kill the elderly. These are choices that the offenders made and they calculated," Johnson said. "We are holding every single individual accountable for the pain and from the torment that they have caused in this city."

Chicago Mayor Johnson and Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling give an update after more than 100 people were shot in Chicago over the 4th of July weekend.

Snelling said adjustments were made after the Fourth of July heading into the weekend, including canceling officers' days off, but ultimately, he said, they need communities to come forward.

"We have to really stop and think about the mindset of someone who will shoot a child, a helpless child an unarmed mother and think that that's OK. And go about their days," he said. "Those people have to be taken off the street. They have to be put away if we're not doing that. Then we're failing other families."

Johnson pressed for solutions after violent holiday weekend

Johnson said he has asked for more resources from the federal government to help invest more resources into communities.

When pressed to address what adjustments need to be made to keep the community safe, Johnson's response was simply that the city needs more support.

"I am urging all of you across the entire city to step up and say, 'We've had enough,'" Johnson said. "And I'm hopeful that our ongoing discussions will ensure that our state partners, as well as our federal partners, will swiftly come into the support of the city of Chicago. The city cannot afford to wait any longer."

Johnson said he has asked for more resources from the federal government to help invest more resources into communities.

"Black death has been unfortunately accepted in this country for a very long time," Johnson said. "Let's tell the full story of how we got here, because if you skip a chapter, it won't give us the ability to actually make the proper adjustments so that we can ensure that stronger and safer becomes a reality."

With the help of more requested federal resources, Johnson said, he is doubling down on efforts to get guns off the street and demand people step up and say something if they know who caused the violence. But some South Side alderpersons say it's time for the mayor to be more proactive than reactive.

Ald. Jeannette Taylor says a coordinated effort and fostering good relationships with police and residents is why she believes no one was shot or killed in her 20th Ward over the holiday.

"We need a coordinated effort that we start to work on in January, not in April, not in May, not in June, in January," Taylor said.

Others say being in town and visible helps. Johnson was out of town on July 4.

"There are many times I wanted to be out of town for the Fourth of July, but it's important I be present in my ward," said 17th Ward Ald. David Moore.

Ald. Anthony Beale, who represents the 9th Ward, also weighed in.

"It's his right to take vacation. Everyone has that right, but at the same time, I'm not going to cancels people's days off and take vacation if we are in the fight together. We are in the fight together," Beale said.

Johnson did cancel police officers' days off over the long holiday weekend. Johnson returned to town on Friday night, joining Snelling in the Grand Crossing neighborhood.

While the mayor says there will be consequences for those causing violence, Snelling could not say if there were any arrests related to the weekend's violence.

At least 10 people were shot over the holiday weekend in the 15th Police District, where the mayor calls home.

Father, aspiring musician found shot to death inside his West Side home

One of those victims was found murdered inside of his apartment.

Melvin Hill's family is now preparing to say a goodbye that came far too son.

"My tears and my hurt is that he's not going to be here anymore," said Lawanda Hill, the victim's sister

Officers found the 36-year-old father dead Sunday night, shot multiple times on his kitchen floor inside of his apartment on Central near West End in South Austin.

"I can't believe - he was just loved by so many people, and the laughter, the fun, just the joy that he brought to our lives, just - this is a hard one for me," Lawanda said.

Neighbors described hearing what sounded like gunshots Saturday night, and hours later, they said, they became worried when he never came out of his apartment.

"Someone went and looked in the window and seen that something wasn't right, because she said they speak to him every single day," Lawanda said.

Melvin's older sister was helping the aspiring musician and fashion designer achieve his dreams, but those goals have now been ripped away.

"For him to be in his home and for this to happen to him, this somebody that he had to trust," Lawanda said. "It felt like somebody just grabbed ahold of my heart and didn't let it go."

Piecing together what happened inside of her baby brother's apartment of only eight months apparently begins with broken trust.

"The fact that he trusted somebody, and they did this to my baby brother, I just - it's just a lot of evil going on," Lawanda said.

Lawanda is hoping other families will not have to suffer in the same way.

"It really takes a village. The mayor can't do it by himself," she said. "They truly have to have people that care about people to make change."

Police say shell casings were recovered from Hill's home. So far, no one is in custody.

Other holiday weekend shootings

Two people were shot, one fatally at about 11:51 p.m. Sunday in the 700-block of East 89th Place.

A security alert was issued by the University of Chicago Sunday morning after three men were shot on a sidewalk in front of the adult hospital's emergency room right after 5 a.m. Witnesses reported that the gunshots were fired from a dark-colored SUV that fled southbound on Cottage Grove away from the Medical Center, according to UCPD. It is not clear whether any of the victims are affiliated with the university in an way.

A man died in an exchange of gunfire Saturday night in South Shore.

The 25-year-old was walking on train tracks about 8:50 p.m. near the 1700-block of East 71st Street when two people approached him and exchanged gunfire with him, Chicago police said.

The man suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his body and was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where he died, police said.

No arrests were reported.

Hours later, a South Side drive-by shooting left a man dead and a woman injured, police said.

Police said the shooting happened in the South Loop neighborhood's 100-block of East 21st Street just before 11:15 p.m.

A 26-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were walking on the sidewalk when a white SUV pulled up and someone inside fired shots, police said.

Police said the man, shot multiple times in his body, was transported in critical condition to Northwestern Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The woman, shot in her leg, was taken to the same hospital in good condition.

"I was walking my dog across from the Marriott," South Loop resident Tara Sonneberg said. "I heard at least 15 cleared gun shots."

Bullet casings were scattered up and down the street. The gunshots shattered the front door of a condo building, and it was a terrifyingly close call for two women, who were sitting in this parked vehicle about to pull away when they saw two men running up from behind them.

"One of them was wearing like a brown sweater and a ski mask, and when I seen them pull out the gun, I just pulled my window up and we ducked. I just seen them shooting," a witness told ABC7.

No one is in custody and Area Three detectives are investigating.

Police did not immediately provide further information about the shooting.

Many people Friday evening grappled with the lasting impact gun violence can have on a community.

The violence includes three mass shootings, one in which two women and an 8-year-old boy were killed and two young boys were left in critical condition after multiple shooters opened fire into a Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood home on the South Side.

At least 19 of those shot were in mass shootings in Austin, Greater Grand Crossing and Little Italy.

About 12:15 a.m. Friday, police responded to calls of shots fired and found eight people wounded by gunfire in the 1300 block of West Hastings Street, according to the Chicago police, who said the two gunmen fled.

Two women, 74 and 31, were shot in the leg and they were taken to Stroger Hospital, where they were in fair condition, police said.

Two men, 28 and 23, were also shot in their legs leg and were taken to Stroger in fair condition.

Another man, 36, was shot in the groin and taken to Stroger in fair condition, authorities said.

An 18-year-old woman was grazed in the head and was also taken to Stroger where she was in good condition, officials said.

Two women, 18 and 19, were also grazed and refused medical attention, police said.

Erica Pinkerton said she grew up with the 74-year-old woman who was shot and injured, and she is fed up with the violence.

"They don't bother nobody. They are the sweetest ladies you will ever want to meet," Pinkerton said. "We don't know how to enjoy each other, because we're so bitter and cold inside, towards one another and towards ourselves."

Last year, 18 people were shot and two were killed on the July 4th holiday. Pinkerton described the day in two words.

"It's assassination day..." she said.

Vaughn Bryant is the executive director of the Metropolitan Peace Initiatives, a group of 15 community-based organizations focused on reducing gun violence. He said his team assisted in the closing of 31st Street Beach over the holiday for safety.

"When you grow up in an environment where there's trauma, you don't resolve your conflicts in an adaptive way, and you use means that can be extreme, for what ultimately, our petty conflicts that don't require people to lose their life," Bryant said. "It's our city, and anything that is happening in our city as citizens, it's our responsibility... You can't complain that you don't have businesses or things that are going on when we're not keeping it safe in the areas for the businesses to thrive."

Some people feel not enough is being done to stop the violence.

"They got to stop the guns. You know?" Austin resident Raul Perez said. "You can't go out at night. You know, you're afraid to go out at night because you're gonna get shot or something."

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson responded to the violence in a statement, saying in part, "we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and communities impacted."

Johnson said there will be an emergency services assistance to center open on Tuesday, July 9 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Fosco Park on Racine Avenue to help support community members.

Less than two hours after the Little Italy shooting, a shootout left a man dead and six other people injured in the South Austin neighborhood, police said.

CPD said officers responded to a report of a person shot just before 1:45 a.m. Friday in the 100-block of South Menard Avenue, and found multiple victims.

They were injured when two people began shooting at each other, police said.

Police later said a 40-year-old man, who had been shot in the buttocks, took himself to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An 18-year-old woman was shot in the leg, and was taken to Mt. Sinai hospital in good condition.

A 23-year-old man was shot in the leg, and was taken to West Suburban Medical Center in good condition.

A 23-year-old man was shot in the hip, and was taken to Loyola hospital in good condition.

A 20-year-old woman was shot in the back, and was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition.

A 25-year-old man was shot in the arm, and was taken to Mt. Sinai in fair condition.

A 15-year-old boy was shot in the back, and was taken to Stroger in good condition.

The alleged shooters fled the scene. No one is in custody.

It was not immediately clear what led up to the shootout. Area Four detectives are investigating.

Minutes later, a 16-year-old girl was shot and critically wounded early Friday in a North Lawndale residential complex on the city's West Side. About 1:40 a.m., she was in the 1200 block of South Central Park Avenue when someone shot her in the head, police said.

Early Friday morning, around 7:05 a.m., a man and woman were found shot in the 3400 block of East 87th Street, police said. They were dead at the scene.

Two women, 59 and 29, who were shot around 11:50 p.m. Thursday in the 900 block of North Leclaire Avenue, police said. The older woman was shot in her hip and head and she was taken to Stroger Hospital where she later died, police said. The younger woman was shot in the torso and she was also taken to Storger where she was listed in fair condition, officials said.

Around the same time, a 35-year-old man, was arguing with a gunman in the 6000 block of South Winchester Avenue when the gunman shot him multiple times, police said. The 35-year-old was taken to Saint Bernard Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Less than an hour earlier, a 30-year-old man was standing in the street with a crowd in the 8400 block of South Kerfoot Avenue when he was shot in the torso, police said. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where he died, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Hours later, about 2:10 a.m. Friday, officers responding to calls of a person shot in the 1200 block of West Washburne Avenue and found a 43-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds to his body, officials said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

A 34-year-old man was shot in the neck at around 1 a.m. Thursday in the 6200 block of South Laflin Street. He was taken to the University of Chicago where he died, according to police.

A man was found shot to death Thursday afternoon in Roseland on the South Side. Officers were responding to a ShotSpotter call and found the man, whose age wasn't known, unresponsive in the 9300 block of South Lafayette Avenue around 2:10 p.m., police said. He was shot in the chest and flank and was taken to Roseland Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Emergency Services Assistance Center opening to support those impacted by violence

An Emergency Services Assistance Center is scheduled to open Tuesday to support people impacted by violence during the holiday weekend.

That will be at Fosco Park on Racine Avenue in Little Italy.

It will be open from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Cardinal Blase Cupich released a statement on the violence saying, "Cleveland; Philadelphia; Boston; Albany, New York; Detroit; Tampa, Florida; Connecticut; Chicago. They all have one thing in common: Deadly mass shootings over this year's Fourth of July holiday weekend. Two years ago, seven people lost their lives in a mass shooting in Highland Park, a suburb north of Chicago, during the Independence Day parade. This year, as the Highland Park community started to heal by getting ready for their first parade since that terrible day, we witnessed atrocious violence across Chicago: More than 100 people were struck by gunfire, 19 people lost their lives, and countless families and friends of those victims are left with questions, prayers and anger. As I said last year, we have a gun violence epidemic in America, and it is far past time for us to do something about it. The beautiful memories of the people lost tragically to gun violence will remain forever, but so will the trauma from the loss of loved ones.

"Elected officials must take action and listen to the voices of the Americans who are losing children, parents, friends, mentors and hope to gun violence.

"Let our prayer be that of Pope Francis, who sent us his message of support after the Highland Park shooting: "With unwavering faith that the grace of God is able to convert even the hardest of hearts, making it possible to depart from evil and do good, may every member of society reject violence in all of its forms and respect life in all of its stages."

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The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.