Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.
This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms along with a high near 79 degrees. Similar conditions will continue much of the week with a low around 69 tonight and a high near 83 tomorrow.
Two mass shootings within two hours of each other over the weekend stemmed from gang conflict and retaliatory shootings, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said today, decrying “street justice” driven by a “thirst for revenge.”
“Both incidents appear to be internal gang conflicts. Retaliatory shootings for past incidents,” the mayor said, noting that Chicago police detectives who worked through the night “have some promising leads.”
About a third of the 78 people shot between Friday evening and this morning were wounded in just four attacks, including the two mentioned by the mayor. Four were shot in each of the other two.
Lightfoot said yet another summer weekend marred by mass shootings is “both heartbreaking and frustrating.”
Heartbreaking for those killed and wounded and the people who loved them, she said, and equally heartbreaking for the wounds inflicted “psychologically” on those left “traumatized” by gun violence in their gang-infested neighborhoods.
“What’s also frustrating and heartbreaking is that, for some in our community, their thirst for revenge has no sense of decency. They don’t want to let the criminal justice system play itself out,” the mayor said.
“They want to engage in street justice, which is tragic and terrible because, invariably what happens — like we’ve seen so many times with way too many children in our city across this year — when they aim, they don’t get the target. They get the children and the innocent bystanders who have a right to live in our city without fear of being felled by gun violence.”
More news you need
- The mass shootings cited by Lightfoot were part of a violent weekend in which seven people were killed and 71 others wounded across Chicago. Almost halfway through 2021, shootings in the city are up 13% compared to last year and 34% compared to 2019.
- The Chicago cop who shot and killed Anthony Alvarez during a foot chase earlier this year in Portage Park has been stripped of his police powers. The move had been recommended by a civilian oversight board nearly three months ago.
- A Calumet City man who allegedly shot his girlfriend and the mother of his young son “execution style” last week on the South Side was ordered held without bail today. Karim Hunter, 27, is charged with first-degree murder.
- Will a new Chicago postmaster lead to improved mail delivery? There’s cautious optimism in the city after Eddie Morgan Jr., a former postmaster in Kansas City, took over the gig earlier this month.
- Mayor Lightfoot and community groups pledged today to build 250 homes in North Lawndale to improve the community and help families build wealth. The program involves selling city-owned parcels for $1 each to groups that say they have stitched together private and public funds to support the construction.
- A K-Town turnaround could be in the works as firms such as The Will Group invest millions into the West Side neighborhood that’s often been associated with violence and poverty. One of the efforts is being called K-Town Business Centre in an attempt to embrace the community and recast its image.
A bright one
(Content Warning // suicide attempt)
Former Bears quarterback Erik Kramer checked into the Good Nite Inn in Calabasas, California, on Aug. 18, 2015. He brought the SIG Sauer 9mm handgun he had purchased specifically for the occasion.
Kramer had spent weeks planning his death. He got his finances in order so his son Dillon would be comfortable. He never had fired a handgun before, so he took it to the range to practice.
During a five-year span, Kramer divorced, struggled to connect with Dillon (who decided to live with his mom) and split with his girlfriend. And then death took those closest to him, one by one.
”People aren’t coming,” he thought. ”They’re going.”
When the officers and paramedics arrived at the Good Nite Inn, Chris Germann, a longtime friend, was patched through to Kramer’s hotel room, which he had checked into under his own name. The phone rang. Germann figured he was too late.
”I’ll be damned if he didn’t answer,” Germann said. ”He was moaning.”
Kramer had shot himself. The bullet traveled from under his chin through his tongue and sinus cavity and out the top of his head.
But Kramer was alive.
After his suicide attempt, myriad trials and other challenges, Kramer now says he’s “the most grateful guy walking the planet.” Read Patrick Finley’s full story on how Kramer rebuilt his life with the help of friends and family.
From the press box
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On Friday, we asked you: Who’s the biggest celebrity you’ve spotted in Chicago? Tell us where and when you saw them. Here’s what some of you said…
“Tom Hanks when I worked at Northwestern and John Cusack while he was filming High Fidelity on Southport.” — Joe Simonetti
“Michael Jordan, as he trained for baseball at IIT. Best facility to do so because it was a private school and there was no media access. He was a stand up guy.” — Tara Lykowski
“Paul Newman and Robert Redford in 1972. They were filming The Sting at Union Station and requested a tour of the Mercantile Exchange. I worked on the floor while in college and got to shake both their hands.” — Tom Bailey
“I was on the elevator alone with Barack Obama in the Federal building at 230 S. Dearborn when he was a Senator. I saw Oprah Winfrey in a store in Michigan Avenue. I saw Mel Gibson while he was filming a movie in downtown Chicago. I saw R. Kelley when he was Robert Kelley at open mic night at the Cotton Club.” — Kimberly Rogers
“Bono. He stood next to me at The Rolling Stones concert at the Aragon Ballroom just before he went on stage. September 2002.” –Ann Lutterbach
“Maybe not the biggest celebrity but me and Mr. T crossed paths three times in four days. Day 1, he cut me off on LSD. Day 2, he literally bumped into me coming out of the Schubert Theater (Dreamgirls). Two days later he was ten feet from me at a Blackhawks game. Never saw him before, never again.” — Douglas Michel
“Walter Payton in the Arlington Heights Jewel back in the early 80s. He was checking out in front of me.” — Peggy Middleton Sellards
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