A 14-year-old boy and two others were killed and 17 people were injured in four separate shootings in Chicago on Wednesday, police said.
Chicago Police Superintendent. David Brown said on Thursday that few people injured in each shooting were cooperating with police and urged members of the community to come forward if they knew anything.
Investigators believe that the shooters in each incident were targeting specific victims, although some of those injured were bystanders.
The first two shootings occurred minutes and blocks of each other in the North Lawndale neighborhood after 6 p.m., Area 4 Deputy Police Chief Ernest Cato said during of a press conference.
The 14-year-old was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital after being shot in the head in the first shooting, which left a 16-year-old in serious condition, police said. The injured teenager was also shot in the head, Cato said. A 22-year-old man and two 24-year-old men injured in the shooting near the intersection of 13th Street and Christiana Avenue, were stable.
Several suspects then opened fire on a second scene, shooting four teenagers and a 22-year-old man near the intersection of Douglas Boulevard and Ridgeway Avenue. They were taken to hospitals, where they were listed in good condition, police said.
One of those teens, a 14-year-old, was hit by a stray bullet while getting into a car with his father, Deputy Chief Detective Brendan Deenihan said.
“We’re going to need a holistic approach, and that approach is going to involve… our community getting involved and saying what’s going on,” Cato said from the site of the second shooting. “Our community which has pictures of cell phones, which has information on Facebook. We’re going to need your help.
Another shooting on the Near West Side of the city left two dead. The men were standing outside in West Town when someone in a passing SUV shot them. No one was immediately taken into custody.
Before midnight, A dark gray Jeep Grand Cherokee opened fire on a party bus in the 1600 block of North LaSalle Drive in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, authorities said. Eight people aged 23 to 52 were injured.
One of the victims was classified in critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was dropped off after being shot in the chest. Police described him as a 27-year-old man.
While a 24-year-old man shot in the arm and a 26-year-old woman in the leg were seriously injured, the other victims were in good or fair condition in hospitals in the area.
Deenihan said detectives believed people on the bus were being targeted, but he didn’t provide any details.
He said the bus entered a gas station to allow people to use the restroom. Three cars stopped and people inside started shooting at passengers on the bus who were heading towards the building, he said.
Two of the injured were employees of the bus company, including a security guard. Another injured person was sitting in a car at the gas station, Deenihan said.
No one is in custody in connection with the shooting on the party bus.
On Monday, the Chicago Police Department announced a new team of officers, prosecutors and federal agents who will target gun trafficking as part of anti-violence efforts. It follows another bloody weekend that ended with more than 60 people shot dead, 10 of them fatally.
“Street justice never stops,” Brown said Thursday. “The appetite for revenge is never satisfied. It only hurts. It only ruins your community. And we need the community to move forward now. We are fighting for the hearts and souls of some of our communities and now is the time to speak up. “
While Chicago has seen fewer violent crimes like aggravated batteries, theft and sexual assault, homicides so far this year have increased by 33% compared to the same period in 2019.
Shootings have increased 59% since the first half of 2019, the most recent comparable period since the start of the pandemic.
The Department of Justice is launching an effort this week in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC, to reduce the spike in gun violence by tackling illegal trafficking and prosecuting offenses that help put weapons in the hands of criminals.
Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to travel to Chicago, where he grew up, on Thursday to launch the initiative.