78 people shot in weekend gun violence in Chicago, a third of them from four mass shootingson June 28, 2021 at 7:10 pm

Seven people were killed and 71 others were wounded in weekend shootings in Chicago as the city reaches the halfway point of what could be one of its most violent years in decades.

Four of the attacks were mass shootings with four or more people wounded. The attacks accounted for nearly a third of all the shooting victims between Friday evening and early Monday morning.

Chicago has seen at least 331 homicides so far this year, compared to 319 at this point last year and 247 in 2019. That’s an almost 4 percent increase over last year and a 34 percent increase compared to 2019.

There have been at least 1,842 shootings this year, compared to 1,625 at this time in 2020 and 1,171 in 2019. This year has seen a more than 13 percent increase compared to 2020, and 57 percent compared to 2019.

City Hall and police officials have stressed that the increase in violence from last year to this year has been slowing, with this June seeing fewer homicides and shootings than last June. Still, last year was one of the worst for gun violence since the mid-1990s, and this year is on track for even more shootings and homicides.

Over the weekend, people were shot in 17 of the city’s 22 police districts. The most violent was the Grand Crossing district on the South Side, where six were shot in one attack, four in another and a 14-year-old boy was shot in a third attack.

The most serious attack in the district was in the South Shore neighborhood, where a gunman in a black SUV sprayed bullets at a group of people around 8:45 p.m. Sunday, killing one woman and wounding five other people, according to Chicago police.

Hours later, a woman was killed and at least 10 people were shot in Marquette Park when gunmen stepped from an alley, police said. The neighborhood is in the Chicago Lawn police district which surrounds Midway Airport.

No one was in custody in either shooting. There have been at least eight other mass shootings in Chicago this month.

Police Supt. David Brown blamed the cluster of mass shootings on a surplus of illegal guns on the streets and a court system he complained was too slow to reopen and too lenient in sentencing.

“The answer is too many guns, too many illegal guns in too many hands, and too little consequences,” Brown said in a news conference Monday, a theme he has repeatedly hit during his tenure as Chicago’s top cop.

Chicago is on pace to recover 12,000 illegal guns by the end of the year, which would be a record, surpassing last year’s 11,300 guns, he said.

Brown said the Cook County court system has been too slow to resume criminal trials, and also singled out what he called light consequences for emboldened criminals.

“We have strong advocacy in courts for offenders and very little for victims,” Brown said.

Brown also noted that officers are being shot at in higher numbers than last year. Thirty-one officers have been shot or shot at this year, he said. By the end of 2020, 79 officers had been shot or shot at, he said.

West Pullman homicide

Early Sunday, a man was fatally shot in West Pullman on the Far South Side. Officers responded to a Shot Spotter alert and found the 24-year-old in the 11700 block of South Laflin Street, police said.

He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not released and no arrest was reported.

Englewood murder

Before dawn on Saturday, a 54-year-old man was shot and killed in Englewood on the South Side. Darryl Griffin was standing outside around 3 a.m. in the 600 block of West 61st Place when someone inside a passing SUV opened fire, police said. Griffin was shot in his torso and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he died, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Police reported no arrests.

Humboldt Park homicide

Early Saturday, 25-year-old Niko Davis was shot and killed around 4:35 a.m. in the 2600 block of West Thomas Street in Humboldt Park, Chicago police said. Shot in his chest, he was taken to Stroger Hospital and pronounced dead.

Man killed, 3 wounded in West Rogers Park

An hour later, a man was killed and three others wounded after getting into an argument in West Rogers Park on the North Side.

About 5:30 a.m., the group was in the 6100 block of North McCormick Boulevard when they got into an argument with a man who pulled out a gun and began firing shots, police said.

Joseph Darnell Johnson, 35, was shot in his chest and leg, and died at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. Three other wounded men were hospitalized with injuries that weren’t life-threatening, police said.

Man allegedly kills girlfriend in Chatham apartment

A Calumet City man allegedly shot his girlfriend and the mother of his young son “execution style” at the beginning of the weekend in Chatham.

Jeaneen Walters, 30, was found in the early morning hours Saturday in her apartment in the 700 block of East 79th Street lying face down with a bullet wound in the back of her head, prosecutors said Monday.

Karim Hunter, 27, who is charged with first-degree murder, originally told investigators he had nothing to do with his girlfriend’s death, but then changed his story multiple times, prosecutors said, including saying she’d committed suicide. Hunter eventually said the couple had been in an argument and that the gun had gone off “accidentally,” prosecutors said.

A witness, Walters’ cousin, told investigators Walters had said on June 19 that she was unhappy in her relationship and was planning to end it.

Hunter also allegedly told investigators that he’d wrapped up the gun and had thrown it in the Calumet River, prosecutors said.

Hunter’s phone records show that he called his brother about 3:30 a.m. June 26 and asked for a ride, prosecutors said. Video surveillance from a nearby business allegedly shows Hunter leaving his girlfriend’s apartment and then returning a little while later to pick up a phone.

Other shootings

  • A woman was wounded Friday in Austin on the West Side. She was walking about 9:10 p.m. in the 200 block of South Cicero Avenue when someone opened fire, striking her in the leg, police said. The 56-year-old was taken to Stroger Hospital, where her condition was stabilized.
  • Another woman was wounded in a shooting late Friday in Bridgeport on the South Side. The 28-year-old was traveling in a vehicle as a passenger about 11:25 p.m. in the 2800 block of South Wallace Avenue when three males who were standing outside fired shots at the vehicle, police said. A bullet struck her in the elbow, and she was taken to Mercy Hospital in good condition, police said.
  • Minutes later, four people were hurt, two critically, in a shooting in Park Manor on the South Side. A group was standing outside about 11:50 p.m. when a person drove past in a red moped and fired shots in the 7000 block of South Indiana Avenue, police said.

    One woman was shot three times on the body and was taken in critical condition to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, police said. The other was struck in the thigh and was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where her condition was stable.

    One man was also critically hurt with a gunshot wound to the head, police said. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, police said. The other man was shot in the thigh and taken to the same hospital, where his condition was stable.

At least 46 other people were wounded in shootings in Chicago between 5 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday.

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