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Chicago shootings: July 4th weekend sees more than 100 people shot, 19 killed

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Chicago’s explosive Fourth of July weekend left 19 people dead and more than 100 others wounded in shootings, including multiple mass shootings, across the Windy City in a four-day span, according to police.

The victims included two women, Neekshia Strong, 45, and Capri Edwards, 24, who lost their lives shielding children from gunfire on Independence Day, FOX 32 Chicago reported. Bullets struck all three of the boys with them, ages 5, 8 and 8. One of the boys died.

“There was also a 1-year-old at that location inside the home, who luckily and thankfully was not harmed but was traumatized by the event,” Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling told reporters during a Monday morning news briefing.

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Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling

Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling responds to a question during a news conference on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, in Chicago. Snelling asked for city residents to come forward with information about violent crime after a weekend of shootings left 19 dead and more than 100 hurt. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Those victims were all from a single shooting. Police responded to dozens over the weekend, including an incident in Little Italy that left eight people wounded between the ages of 18 and 74.

We need every single person to step up. We need people to start coming forward. We need people to take responsibility. Help us help you. We want to take these people off the street.

— Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling

“These are not just numbers on pages, these are not just headlines in the news,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said during the briefing. “No, these are our fellow Chicagoans, our neighbors, family members, who’ve lost their lives.”

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Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson speaks to reporters on Jan. 29, 2024 in Chicago. Johnson blamed illegally purchased firearms for widespread, deadly violence in his city after the July Fourth weekend saw more than 100 people shot, 19 fatally. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Snelling slammed the “brazenness” of a suspect who could barge into a home and shoot at women and children and repeatedly called on residents to come forward with information.

“Just think about that again, children who are being shot in our city,” he said. “Somebody knows something. Somebody knows who the offenders are in these cases, and it’s really important that we work with our communities and our communities understand that we’re trying to work with [them].”

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Chicago Police car

Chicago police want to take violent offenders off the streets and keep them locked up, and they are asking for witnesses to come forward to help them do so. (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto)

He also took a subtle swipe at some of Illinois’ progressive bail reforms that allow more suspects out of jail before their trials and said his focus is on the victims.

“We have to take them off the street, and we have to keep them off the street so they don’t destroy other families,” he said.

Johnson vowed consequences for violent criminals and placed the blame on “generations of disinvestment” and illegally purchased firearms, which he said are fueling a culture of violence in Chicago, using the example of a 16-year-old with an AK-47.

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Someone like that has a history of violence long before they unlawfully obtain a weapon, he said.

“We will not let criminal activity ruin and harm our city,” he added.

Democratic National Convention

Chicago is hosting the 2024 Democratic National Convention. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

In just over a month, the city will host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

Leaders are hoping to keep the city’s violence problem out of view during the event, with cordoned-off safe zones and a huge increase in security.

While murders have declined two years in a row after rising in 2020 and 2021, violent crime as a whole, led by soaring robberies, has climbed in the Windy City, police statistics show. Yearly car thefts nearly tripled between 2020 and 2023 from 9,910 to 29,287.

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