Three young children wounded by gunfire in attacks on the South Side as shootings continue to spike across Chicago

Three young children were wounded by gunfire in attacks on the South Side Wednesday night as shootings continue to spike across the city in recent days.

Two of the children, boys 6 and 11, were among four shot in West Englewood — the third mass shooting in Chicago in two days. Five hours later, about a mile and a half away in Gresham, a 3-year-old girl and a woman were shot.

They are the latest victims of a burst of gun violence in the last week. At least 73 people have been shot since last Friday: At least 14 on Wednesday, 21 on Tuesday, 14 on Monday and 24 over the weekend.

During two news conferences this week on the violence, Police Supt. David Brown said the city would send extra resources into areas where shootings have been increasing but he did not release details.

Many of those areas — including West Englewood and Gresham — have been targeted by the mayor’s safety plan, but city officials have been unable to provide specifics on what is being spent where and on what.

On Wednesday, Brown talked about “increasing the capacity” in neighborhoods being hit with more shootings. Pressed on what he meant, he said more police patrols as well as more outreach workers and violence interrupters. He did not elaborate.

With him at the news conference was Tamara Mahal, who runs the city’s Community Safety Coordination Center that serves as a hub for the mayor’s safety initiative. While saying her agency is supporting those victimized by the violence, she was unable to say how much more money was being spent in some of those areas.

As part of the mayor’s “Our City Our Safety” plan, the city dedicated more than $50 million for violence reduction efforts in 2021, although a funding breakdown posted online last year shows nearly $10 million in contracts from the initial investment hadn’t been awarded.

Another $411 million was included in this year’s budget, but city officials were unable to provide a full accounting of how exactly that money is being spent.

Through May 8, targeted communities on the South and West sides saw a 19% decline in homicides and a 28% drop in non-fatal shooting victims from the same time last year, according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis. Across the city, those numbers have fallen 7% and 17% respectively, accounting for a 15% overall drop over the same period.

But despite trending in the right direction, the toll is still far higher than in both 2019 and 2020. More than 900 people have been wounded by gun violence in Chicago this year.

Among the latest victims are a 3-year-old girl and a woman who were standing near the curb in the 1300 block of West 76th Street around 10:55 p.m. Wednesday when someone fired shots, Chicago police said.

The girl suffered multiple gunshot wounds in both legs and was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where she was in good condition, police said. The woman, 31, was struck in the foot and was transported in good condition to the University of Chicago Medical Center, police said.

Hours later, less than two miles away, two boys and two adults were wounded in West Englewood. They were traveling in a car in the 1600 block of West 68th Street when someone opened fire about 5:45 p.m., Chicago police said.

The boys, 6 and 11, were struck in the arm and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, police said. A woman, 21, was hit in the face and a man, 24, suffered gunshot wounds to his legs, police said. Both were transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

All four victims were listed in good condition.

No one was in custody in either attack.

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