CHICAGO (CBS) — On the heels of a night that saw at least 11 people shot across Chicago, two of them fatally, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to reveal how the city is preparing for the Memorial Day weekend, which has often been one of the deadliest of the year.
Shortly after 7 p.m., a 19-year-old man and a 26-year-old man were sitting in a car near 80th and Emerald in the Gresham neighborhood, when another vehicle pulled up alongside them, and opened fire. The 19-year-old man was shot in the chest, and was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Hospital. The 26-year-old man was shot in the leg, and was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, a 17-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were standing near 69th and Maplewood in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, when someone walked up and opened fire, shooting the 17-year-old in the chest. The victim was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
At least eight other people were wounded in shootings between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, including a 13-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man who were critically wounded in a shooting in the Woodlawn neighborhood near 63rd and King Drive.
Thursday morning at Ellis Park, the mayor will launch the “Our City, Our Safety” initiative to promote more than 100 youth programs and community events planned for the Memorial Day weekend.
Lightfoot’s office has not provided any details yet, but some activists already have begun their own efforts to fight violence this weekend.
Rev. Michael Pfleger and volunteers on the South Side are handing out thousands of signs stating “We Report Violence” in hopes of stemming shootings during the unofficial start of summer this weekend.
“All of us have a role to play in public safety. This isn’t something that should or can fall exclusively on the shoulders of the Chicago Police Department,” Lightfoot said. “People in communities know what is necessary to keep their communities safe, and we want to encourage people in whatever form they feel comfortable to step up and take ownership of public safety just as we are.”
The mayor said another way to curb violence is building a better relationship between police and the community.