This article was originally published on The Huffington Post by Mary Papenfuss on Dec. 27, 2016
Several surviving victims were seriously or critically injured and battling for their lives, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The gun violence from Friday to Monday evening surpassed the steep shooting tally over the holiday last year, when 30 people were shot and six died.
Seven people were shot in a single incident on Sunday after a man emerged from an alley and opened fire on a family party at a home in the city’s crime-wracked East Chatham neighborhood, CBS Chicago reported. When the shooting finally stopped, James Gill, 18, lay dead with a bullet to the head. His 21-year-old brother, Roy Gill, died later at a local hospital. The shooter escaped.
One 40-year-old man was cut down by multiple bullets outside the Apostolic Labor of Love Church; he later died at the hospital.
The bloody holiday weekend began Friday night with five teenagers shot within feet of each other in the city’s South Austin neighborhood. All survived.
“We have a traumatized city,” said Susan Johnson who runs Chicago Survivors, a group that counsels the families of murder victims. She told NPR that people were living “hair-trigger” lives with anger issues “as a result of living in trauma and in violence.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called the toll a “reprehensible number of shootings and murders.” If “anyone thinks this is okay or it’s normal, then you’re wrong, because it’s not okay and it’s not normal,” he said at a press conference Monday.
Police attributed most of the violence to gang warfare.
“These were deliberate and planned shootings by one gang against another,” Johnson said, per CNN. “They were targeted knowing fully well that individuals would be at the homes of family and friends celebrating the holidays. This was followed by several acts of retaliation.”
Ninety percent of those killed had gang affiliation and criminal histories, law enforcement authorities said. They were “pre-identified by the department’s strategic subject algorithm as being a potential suspect or victim of gun violence,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Tribune.
Police confiscated 45 guns over the weekend, the Chicago police superintendent said. He pleaded with politicians to enact stricter gun control laws and harsher penalties for repeat gun violence offenders.