Law enforcement groups have united to tackle gun violence in Chicago after a string of shootings erupted in the city over the weekend.
At least 40 people were shot from midnight Saturday to early Sunday morning, with four deaths reported, city police said on Sunday (Aug. 5.) The bloody weekend comes after gun violence had decreased this year, authorities said.
“These were both random and targeted shootings on our streets,” Fred Waller, Chief of the Patrol Division of the Chicago Police Department, said during a press conference.
Chicago has seen a sizeable number of fatal civilian and police shootings in recent years, including that of Maurice Granton Jr., a Black father whose cop-involved death stirred calls for justice in the city in June.
Most of the weekend shootings were connected to gang violence, Waller said. Twenty-five people were shot on the city’s West Side in separate attacks, Reuters reported. A block party, downtown concert with thousands of people and other nighttime events were interrupted by shots; mourners at a funeral were also scared by gunfire, police said.
The recent violent streak happened after shootings had seen a substantial decline. There were 533 fewer shootings as of Aug. 1 than the same time period last year, The Chicago Tribune recently reported.
Chicago, however, like other cities, has previously seen patterns of increasing violence during the summer months. There were 74 murders last July in Chicago — an increase from 65 in July 2016, WLS-TV reported. Police introduced several new programs to combat the violence last year, including a Gun Crime Strike Force; however, more solutions are needed.