UPDATED: Tuesday, September 6, 4:15 P.M. EST
Chicago saw its deadliest holiday weekend after a total of 65 people were shot, including 13 killed, according to ABC News.
The violence reached a fever pitch on Labor Day, when 31 people were shot between 6 a.m. on Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday, The Chicago Tribune reports. Police attribute a majority of the uptick to retaliatory acts carried out by local gangs.
Among the injured was a nine-months pregnant woman who was shot in the abdomen. The woman delivered a nearly full-term baby in a local hospital. She was listed in critical condition, according to ABC News; her baby’s condition was not released.
Eddie Johnson, Chicago’s top cop, spoke to a group of reporters once news of the tally broke.
“It’s not a police issue, it’s a society issue,” Johnson said. “Impoverished neighborhoods, people without hope do these kinds of things…You show me a man that doesn’t have hope, I’ll show you one that’s willing to pick up a gun and do anything with it.”
Johnson pointed to an increase in gun arrests from last year, including more than 6,000 illegal gun recoveries. He also acknowledged the controversy surrounding the Laquan McDonald shooting and subsequent investigation, which added another layer of distrust between Chicago’s Black community and the police.
The Tribune writes:
“Homicides in Chicago this year have risen to levels not seen since the 1990s, when killings peaked at more than 900 annually. The 90 homicides in August tied for the most the city had seen in a single month since June 1996. In the worst previous month — July 1993 — 99 people were slain.”
August 2016 was Chicago’s deadliest month in nearly two decades, leaving the city’s streets riddled with shell casings and bloodshed from mostly African-American bodies.
According to the Chicago Police Department’s crime statistics, an astonishing 474 people were victims of homicide in 2016. In August alone, there were 92 deaths, a number slightly lower than July 1993 when 99 people were killed, according to The Chicago Tribune.
The gun violence has not engulfed the entire Chicago metropolitan area and is concentrated within five police districts on the South and West sides, where an increasing number of innocent bystanders are being caught in the crossfire in gun battles between rival gangs.
Dwyane Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge, was killed in one of the most high-profile shootings in recent weeks. Her tragic death has become political fodder for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who was accused of trying to use the tragedy for political gain.
Children are also being caught in the crosshairs. In the first half of 2016, 15 children under the age of 10 were wounded in gunfire.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Tribune that officers are working to stem the violence, seizing 6,000 illegal guns so far this year.
“And I’ll tell you this, it’s frustrating for them to arrest a guy on Friday for an illegal gun and then next Thursday they see this guy right back out on the street with another illegal gun,” he told the Tribune.
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