While many enjoyed celebrating Independence Day all across the nation, Chicago’s violence raged on with a vengeance that left 60 wounded and nine dead from gun wounds, according to ABC 7 News.
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The first reported shooting took place in the wee hours of Friday morning, when 34-year-old Corey Hudson was hanging out with a friend on the street. A car pulled up and someone inside reportedly opened fire on the young man, killing him instantly.
There were also five separate bouts of violence that occurred, causing the Windy City’s police force to draw their weapons.
Another fatality involved a 21-year-old who was shot in the head as he sat in his vehicle; the man’s 19-year-old cousin was also injured in the shooting.
Warren Robinson, a 16-year-old boy, was shot by police while hiding under a vehicle. Officers contend that the youth had a gun in his hand. The boy’s mother, Georgina Utendahl, though, insists, her son was without a weapon, telling ABC 7, “He didn’t have a gun on him,” she stated. “I have witnesses who saw him running from other people and police shot him.”
Chicago social activist Michael Pfleger, a priest with the city’s St. Sabina Catholic Church whose church has been trying to stem violence and promote peace through engaging young people in the community, commented on the irony of how while the country celebrated its independence, his community remains imprisoned by violence, “We’re celebrating independence, but we feel like we’re in prison,” he said. “It’s unacceptable. We wouldn’t accept it in Iraq. We shouldn’t accept in it Chicago.”
Despite having some of the nation’s strictest firearm laws, Chicago still suffers from widespread gun violence. During last year’s Fourth of July weekend, shootings in Chicago left at least 12 people dead and more than 62 wounded.
Even though the Independence Day weekend was a violent one for law enforcement, the city’s overall rates for homicides and shootings have actually decreased: Last year, some 2,185 victims were killed in Chicago, compared to this year’s figures of 1,129 thus far.
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