CHICAGO (CBS) — While many Chicagoans enjoyed a long holiday weekend celebrating, dozens of families experienced an ugly side of life here: violence.
One hundred and one people were shot – 15 of them fatally – over the course of the Fourth of July weekend across Chicago.
Chicago police say the majority of the incidents happened during a six-hour period Monday night on the South and West sides, involving fights and arguments.
“We suspect several incidents or retaliatory in nature and alcohol was a factor in these other incidents,” Deputy Chief Fred Waller said.
During the five day holiday weekend, there were 15 people killed and 86 wounded, for 101 shooting victims. Police on Wednesday said other factors, including the warm weather, helped cultivate the outbreak.
“Our problem in Chicago is gangs and guns,” First Deputy Supt. Kevin Navarro said.
Cook County Board Cmsr. Richard Boykin (1st) and the Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. say the solution to the violence is job creation.
“Drugs in, guns in, jobs out. More died on these streets since Friday than in Afghanistan or Iraq,” Jackson said.
“Black unemployment in the state of Illinois is the highest in the nation and it’s been that way for the last six quarters,” Boykin said.
Boykin announced a state of emergency tour to empower people living in the most violent Chicago neighborhoods, among them Austin. That’s where 16-year-old Elijah Sims, an innocent bystander, was gunned down last August.
“It needs to stop. Something has to be done. People need to speak up. If you see something say something. That’s the only way we are going to get our community back,” the teen’s mother, Sharita Galloway, said.