UPDATED: 5/1/2013 12:12 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Three men were killed and at least 16 others were wounded in gun violence across the city from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning.
The spike of violence occurred as temperatures climbed into the 80s and the city basked in the warmest weather yet this year.
It also comes after Chicago police reported that the number of murders in April (24) was the lowest in about 50 years, WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports. During the first four months of the year, Chicago reported a total of 94 murders. It’s the first time since 1963 that the city had fewer than 100 murders between January and April.
“We are looking at progress,” Police Supt. Garry McCarthy told the CBS 2 morning news, but he acknowledged that “we are going to have good days and bad days,” like Tuesday night.
The question is, was Tuesday’s spate of shootings on the first day with 80-degree temperatures in Chicago a foreshadowing of the upcoming summer?
“That’s the question everybody wants. They want to know what’s the one thing that works, and it’s not one thing, it’s everything that we do. It has to do with having the right people in place, having the right police strategies,” McCarthy said.
Just after midnight Wednesday, the month of May rang in with gunfire when a 27-year-old man was mortally wounded in the South Shore neighborhood.
Darrin Rodgers, of the 6800 block of South Cornell Avenue, was shot in the chest on his own block about 12:10 a.m., authorities said.
Rodgers was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in grave condition, but died shortly thereafter, police said. His death was the first homicide in the month of May, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Karyn Banks lives on the corner. She knew Rodgers because he lived on the same block.
As she and her grandson taped one of the posters to the tree, she told Newsradio that she dreads the warm weather.
“God – he knows what’s best. He allowed us to have some good days. And we don’t even know how to act in good weather. We don’t know how to act.
“Every time, I hate to see it get warm out. Because that’s when everybody come out.”
Another woman came up to sign the poster – a woman who says her 18-year-old brother was shot and killed three years ago, also on the South Side.
“They act like they’re on a battlefield,” she says.
About an hour later, a south suburban Riverdale man was found shot to death in a West Side alleyway.
The body of 23-year-old Pierre Howlett was found riddled with gunshot wounds to his face and body in an alley near the 1900 block of South Drake Avenue about 1:20 a.m., authorities said.
Earlier, one man was killed and two others were wounded during a gang-related shooting outside the University of Illinois at Chicago police station Tuesday night, authorities said.
The three men were near South Morgan and West Maxwell streets, in a parking lot across from the station, when a gunman approached and opened fire about 10:40 p.m., authorities said.
Tytrell Jackson, 19, was mortally wounded by a bullet that struck him in the armpit, authorities said. Jackson, a known gang member, was pronounced dead at 11:13 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
The other two men – ages 19 and 21 – suffered non life-threatening injuries after they were both shot in the thigh, police said.
The gunman fled west after the shooting and was not taken into police custody.
At least 14 others were wounded in shootings across the city since 4:30 p.m. Tuesday:
-About 11:50 p.m. Tuesday a 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg in the 100 block of West 68th Street in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood, police said. The boy was outside when shots were fired from the back of a dark-colored vehicle passing on the street, police said. The shooting was believed to be gang-related.
- A man in his 20s was shot in the 800 block of West 51st Street About 11:45 p.m., police said. Further details were not available.
-About 10:30 p.m. a bullet grazed a 24-year-old woman’s shoulder on the Near North Side, police said.
-A 30-year-old man was critically injured in a shooting in the 5500 block of South Union Avenue at an unknown time, according to the fire department. The shooting could not be confirmed by police.
-About 8:15 p.m., a 24-year-old man was shot twice in the 5500 block of South King Drive, police said.
-About 7:30 p.m., a 16-year-old girl was shot in the arm in the 700 block of East Oakwood Avenue, police said.
-In Uptown around 5:15 p.m. a 22-year-old man was shot in the leg near North Sheridan Road and West Windsor Avenue, police said.
Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said the injured man was a known gang member, and a woman was also hurt running from the shooting.
- About 6:15 p.m., a gunman emerged from a gangway and shot a teenage boy and two men in the 300 block of West 108th Place, police said.
The boy, 16, was shot in the hand and taken to a hospital in good condition, police said. A 45-year-old man was shot in the abdomen area and a 36-year-old man was shot in the armpit. The two were taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition.
-Three men were shot and wounded about 7 p.m. in the 2000 block of East 71st Street, police said.
In that incident, an 18-year-old man was shot in the lower back and a 22-year-old man was shot in the abdomen area, police said. Both men were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition. A third man suffered two graze wounds and refused medical treatment.
-Tuesday afternoon’s first shooting happened around 4:30 p.m. in the 1000 block of West Garfield Boulevard, when a 20-year-old man was shot in the side and buttocks, police said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in “stable” condition.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.