Bloody Saturday: 7 Dead, Dozens Wounded In Chicago

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The tragically familiar violence that punctures Chicago with gunfire reached a crescendo Saturday with the murders of 7 people, including a 6-year-old girl, and the shootings of at least 12 more, reports CBS Chicago.

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According the Chicago Police Department, 3 were shot in the South Side’s notorious Back of the Yards neighborhood, which has, over the last years, become synonymous for many people with gang violence and homicides.

Falling victim to the mayhem, six-year-old Aliyah Shell was standing on the front porch with her mother and younger sister, when she was killed in a drive-by shooting after someone sprayed the home with multiple gunshots. She was one of 5 people shot within the hour, reports the CPD, and the violence was just beginning.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

A 36-year-old man was killed on the 7500 block of South Wolcott Avenue in the Gresham neighborhood about 1:20 a.m., police said. He was at a party on the block, in a back yard, when someone drove by and opened fire, police said. Police said the man, identified as Bert Lindsey of the 7600 block of South Winchester Avenue, didn’t have a criminal history. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center about 2:15 a.m., a spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

A 24-year-old man was found dead in a car at the University of Chicago Medical Center about 10:30 p.m., according to authorities. He’s believed to have been shot in the back in the 6300 block of South Ellis Avenue in the Woodlawn neighborhood and was driven to the hospital, police said.A spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office identified him as Jeremy Anthony and said he lived about a block south from where he was shot.

Someone standing in the street shot him while he was sitting on the passenger side of the car’s backseat, police said. The car’s driver took him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

A 22-year-old man was killed in the East Chatham neighborhood Saturday evening. He was identified as Vincent Fitts, of the 4100 block of West Cermak Road, by a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office.

Fitts was shot in the head and was dead on the scene about 7:52 p.m. in the 800 block of East 79th Street at Cottage Grove Avenue, authorities said.

A 24-year-old man was shot multiple times about 7:04 p.m. in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, police said.

The man was standing on the street in the 5900 Block of South Fairfield Avenue when a vehicle pulled up and one of the people inside stepped out, pulled a weaopon and started shooting at him, the man told police. A spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office identified him as Adrian Cruz, and said he lived on the same block where he was shot. He was taken to Stroger Hospital and was in critical condition, Zala said. He later died, Alfaro said.

A man was shot on the 3300 block of West Evergreen Avenue in the Humboldt Park neighborhood about 4:20 a.m., police said. He’s in serious condition, after being shot in the leg and chest, police said.

A 17-year-old man was shot in the face and back on the 500 block of East 67th Street in the West Woodlawn neighborhood about 2:15 a.m., police said and is in serious condition at Stroger Hospital.

As previously reported by Newsone, homicides in Chicago have increased a dramatic 53.8 percent in 2012, continuing an upward spiral that closed out 2011.

Police Chief Garry McCarthy told the Chicago Tribune that there were 40 homicides in January in the city, up from 26 in January of 2011. According to police records, the increase in homicides continues the same violent streak that held the city hostage at the end of last year:

We’re at 73 percent murder-by-gunshot right now, which means that the other categories have stacked up…stabbings, asphyxiation,” McCarthy said.

Former White House Chief-of-Staff and current mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, says that gang activity is at the crux of the city’s problems:

Chicago has a problem unlike any other major city given the size of our gangs, said Emmanuel. “Nobody can be content, but we are making progress in the right things that are necessary to bring a level of safety to our streets.”

Read more at The Chicago Tribune.

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