CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 59 people were shot across Chicago, six of them fatally, by Tuesday morning of the Fourth of July weekend.
Last year’s Independence Day weekend ended with 66 people shot — a total that actually stoked cautious optimism with the lowest death toll for the July 4 weekend in nearly a decade.
On Saturday, Chicago Police touted a 14 percent decline in shootings this year compared to the first six months of 2016, and they hoped to tamp down the holiday weekend violence with the help of a new gun violence strike force that includes ATF agents.
At least 1,799 people have been shot in the city this year, 314 of them fatally, according to data maintained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
In the latest killing, officers responded to a call of a person shot about 11:35 p.m. Sunday and found 39-year-old Jermaine E. Blandin lying face down in the street in the 1800 block of West 14th Street in the Illinois Medical District on the Near West Side, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Blandin had been shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:48 p.m. He lived in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side.
About 1:30 a.m. Sunday, two men were killed and a third was wounded in a Bronzeville neighborhood shooting on the South Side. Police found two of the men suffering from gunshot wounds in the 4200 block of South State. Robert Cooley, 31, was shot in the head and taken to Stroger Hospital, where was was pronounced dead at 4 p.m., authorities said. Arthur L. Smith, 47, was shot in the chest and taken to Mercy Hospital, where he died at 2:13 a.m. Both Smith and Cooley lived in the neighborhood, blocks from the shooting. The third man, 49, later showed up at Mercy Hospital suffering from a gunshot wound to the right arm. His condition was stabilized.
Three people were killed in the weekend’s first fatal shooting, which happened about 8:50 p.m. Friday in the South Side Englewood neighborhood. John Hunter, 52, was found shot and pronounced dead at 12:27 p.m. Saturday at his apartment in the 5700 block of South Wells, authorities said. A police source said Hunter was apparently the third victim of a shooting that occurred about 15 hours earlier and also claimed the lives of two other men.
The two other men were killed as they stood on the porch of the building, authorities said. Those men, ages 30 and 50, were each shot in the chest and legs when two males walked up to them and opened fire. The older man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the younger man died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Their names have not yet been released.
After the shooting, the gunmen got into a white car and drove away, police said. Timothy Gordon, 19, and 21-year-old Jayton Dorsey have both been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting.
The source said the third man was not found Friday night because the apartment was secured and there was no indication of additional victims. The man was discovered when a relative gained entry to the apartment the next day and found him dead.
Most recently, a woman walked into Norwegian American Hospital about 5 a.m. Tuesday claiming she had been shot in the hand in the Logan Square neighborhood. The 26-year-old woman told hospital staff she was walking in the 1600 block of North Sawyer when she heard shots and felt pain, police said. She was treated and released from the hospital before officers could arrive and interview her. Investigators could not find a crime scene at the location where she claimed the shooting occurred.
At least 51 more people were wounded in shootings across Chicago between 4:15 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Additionally, a Chicago Police officer fatally shot 37-year-old Quintec Locke during an “armed confrontation” Saturday night in Lawndale. Police said an AK-47 and a handgun were recovered at the scene. A nonprofit organization that advocates for police accountability said Locke’s family is consulting with lawyers, and wants the body-camera footage released sooner than the 60-day deadline mandated by the Independent Police Review Authority.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)