by Todd Feurer, CBS Chicago web producer; Yolanda Perdomo and Adam Harrington contributed to this report.
CHICAGO (CBS) — After two consecutive weekends that saw more than 60 people shot and more than a dozen killed — including several children– Mayor Lori Lightfoot said “this can’t be who we are, as a city.”
“The last two Mondays, I’ve woken up with an incredible sense of dread, incredible feeling of despair, because of the weekend violence,” Lightfoot said at a news conference Monday afternoon on the South Side.
Over the past weekend, at least 65 people were shot, 17 of them fatally, including 1-year-old Sincere Gaston, who was shot in the chest while he was in the back seat of his mother’s car in Englewood on Saturday afternoon, and 10-year-old Lena Nunez, who was killed by a stray bullet that went through an apartment window in Logan Square on Saturday night.
This weekend’s bloodshed comes just one week after more than 100 people were shot over the previous weekend, 13 of them fatally, including five children.
“This can’t be who we are, as a city,” Lightfoot said.
“Every single one of these deaths means that we are burying our future. We are burying people whose talents we barely even had an opportunity to tap into, who have not had the opportunity to live out their God-given talent,” Lightfoot said, quoting Rev. Michael Pfleger, who on Sunday said he’s never seen so much despair in his 45 years in Chicago.
The mayor said there are no simple solutions to the city’s struggles with gun violence, but she said everyone needs to ask themselves what they can do “to wrap our arms around these children.”
Lightfoot said that doesn’t just mean the young victims of gun violence, but the young people pulling the triggers as well.
“What do we need to do to reach them to give them hope and love, and have them recognize the sanctity of human life?” she said. “These aren’t strangers who are coming into our communities. We all know that. They are people who grew up amongst us, and have taken literally taken things into their own hands. We need to do a better job of letting them see a life that doesn’t end and start at the barrel of a gun.”
“This violence is ripping us apart, and we’ve got to give everyone in every community a sense of hope, a sense that we have not abandoned them. As the saying goes, we cannot pass them by. We have to stop and be the gentle soul and neighbors for our brothers and sisters across the city, who are struggling,” she added.
Monday morning, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown urged people to come forward with information to help police catch the “evil, murdering bastards” responsible for the murders of Sincere Gaston and Lena Nunez.
“As a dad standing alongside other parents up here on this podium, I struggle to make sense of the reckless gun violence that continues to take the lives of our young people throughout the city,” Brown said Monday morning at Chicago Police Headquarters.
Police have said, shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday, Sincere and his 22-year-old mother were on the way home from the laundromat, when another car pulled up alongside them near 60th and Halsted Streets, and started shooting. Sincere, who was in a child safety seat in the rear seat, was shot in the chest. His mother was grazed in the head.
Sincere’s mother drove them to St. Bernard Hospital, where her son was pronounced dead. She was later transferred to the University of Chicago Medical Center.
CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said investigators believe the shooter was targeting Sincere’s father, who often drove the car the boy and his mother were in at the time of the shoting. Deenihan said detectives are looking for a gray Infiniti that might have been involved in the shooting, and released surveillance video on Monday.
CPD needs your help to identify this vehicle that was in the vicinity of a homicide that occurred in the 6100 block of South Halsted.
Anonymous tips: https://t.co/wkfoCKNo5u
Area 1 Detectives: 312-747-8380
If you see these individuals CALL 9-1-1 and DO NOT APPROACH. pic.twitter.com/94CGxLd0qU
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) June 29, 2020
Hours after Sincere was killed, police were called to the 3500 block of West Dickens Avenue, near Drake Avenue, in Logan Square. Ten-year-old Lena Nunez had been hit by a stray bullet that went through an apartment window when multiple shots were fired outside the building.
Lena was taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County in critical condition, and was later pronounced dead.
Deenihan said investigators believe members of a gang were hanging out nearby, when a rival gang member opened fire on them from almost a block away down the alley.
“So, once again, it’s gang-on-gang violence,” Deenihan said.
Investigators also expect to soon release information on a vehicle or vehicles involved in that shooting, including pictures and video.
The superintendent lashed out at the “evil, murdering bastards” responsible for this weekend’s bloodshed.
“Someone knows something about the murderers. If you have any information, reach out to our detectives,” Brown said. “Silence emboldens, empowers those who continue to terrorize our neighborhoods. Now is the time to stand up and say enough is enough. For God’s sake, for the sake of Chicago’s children, come forward with any information you have to help us solve these crimes.”
Brown said people with information on any of the shootings can submit anonymous tips at cpdtip.com.
“We can no longer turn a blind eye to the violence here,” he said. “When is it going to stop? When we have young, innocent lives lost, we all need to be outraged, all of us, by this violence. This is not just a problem for Englewood or Humboldt Park or any other neighborhood plagued by gun violence. We cannot compartmentalize the violence that is tearing families and communities apart.”
A third child was also shot Saturday night, but survived. Police were called to Wood Street near Marquette Road in West Englewood, where an 8-year-old girl was grazed in the head.
Police say she was sitting on the couch at home when a stray bullet went through the window. She was taken to the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital in fair condition.
Altogether, at least 65 people had been shot in Chicago this weekend, from 5 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday.
The other fatal shootings include:
- A 42-year-old man who was shot in the Austin neighborhood Friday evening. Police said the victim was on the sidewalk on the 200 block of North Leclaire Avenue around 5:42 p.m. Friday, when someone came out of an alleyway and shot him in the head. The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hosptial, where he was pronounced dead.
- A 33-year-old man who was shot in the Chatham neighborhood Saturday morning. Police said the man walked into a home on the 9300 block of South Lyon Avenue around 6:20 a.m., and began striking children who were in the house. When a female inside the home intervened, he started choking her, and she grabbed a nearby revolver and shot him. The man was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
- A 30-year-old man was shot in the Englewood neighborhood Saturday morning. Police said, around 6:50 a.m., the man was found sitting in a Chevy Tahoe in the 1100 block of West 57th Street when witnesses heard gunshots, and saw a 2003 Nissan speed away from the scene. The man was pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head.
- A 25-year-old man was shot in the Lawndale neighborhood Saturday morning. Police said he was on foot on the 1300 block of South Springfield Avenue around 10:25 a.m., when a silver vehicle drove by, and someone shot him in the left side of the body. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was identified as Deron Collins.
- A 17-year-old boy was shot in the Humboldt Park neighborhood Saturday morning. Police said he was in a large group of people in the 1100 block of North Monticello Avenue when he got into an argument with someone who pulled out a gun and shot him in the chest. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was identified as Antiwon Douglas
- A 31-year-old man was shot in the Brighton Park neighborhood Saturday afternoon. Police said, around 3:50 p.m., officers responded to a call of a person shot on the 4400 block of South Kedzie Avenue, and found the victim with a gunshot wound to his head. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The victim was identified as David Santoyo.
- One man was killed and three others were injured in a shooting in the Bronzeville neighborhood Saturday evening. Police said around 11:35 p.m., the men were outside at a large gathering in the 3100 block of South Rhodes Avenue when they were all shot. A 24-year-old man died at the University of Chicago Medical Center after suffering a gunshot wound to the groin, while a 21-year-old man was shot and wounded in the leg, a 22-year-old man was shot in the head and critically injured, and a 19-year-old man was also shot in the leg.
- A man was shot and killed early Sunday morning in the North Austin neighborhood. Police said at 3:54 a.m., officers were called to the 1300 block of North Mayfield Avenue for a ShotSpotter alert and found the 28-year-old man on the sidewalk with multiple gunshot wounds to the back and face. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
- A man was shot and killed early Sunday morning in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Police said at 6:59 a.m., the 19-year-old man was walking in the 1400 block of West Lunt Avenue, near the former site of the Heartland Café, when a man came up heind him and shot him once in the head. The victim was pronounced dead at AMITA St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, while the assailant ran into a black sport-utility vehicle and fled west on Lunt Avenue toward Clark Street.
- An 18-year-old man was shot dead Sunday morning in the South Chicago neighborhood. Police said at 7:18 a.m., man was shot multiple times in the torso on the 8200 block of South Escanaba Avenue. He made it a couple of blocks to the 8300 block of South Muskegon Avenue, where officers responded and rendered aid. The man was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
- A 38-year-old man was shot and killed Sunday morning in the Little Village neighborhood. Police said he was walking in the alley in the 2500 block of South Troy Street around 8:30 a.m., when an SUV pulled up, and a man got out and shot him several times. The shooter got back in the SUV and fled the scene. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
- A 24-year-old man was shot dead Sunday evening in the West Pullman neighborhood. Police said at 8:38 p.m., man was walking in the 12100 block of South Michigan Avenue when a man in a black vehicle fired shots and struck him in the head, back, and shoulder. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
- A 23-year-old man was shot and killed late Sunday night in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. Police said his vehicle crashed into two parked cars in the 4500 block of West Maypole Avenue around 11:05 p.m., and his body was found outside the vehicle with gunshot wounds to the hip. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
- A 22-year-old man was shot and killed early Monday in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Police said, around 12:40 a.m., he was found inside a home on the 900 block of North Central Park Avenue with gunshot wounds to the chin and face. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
- A 21-year-old man was shot and killed early Monday in the Brighton Park neighborhood. Police said he was walking on the 4400 block of South Whipple Street around 2:20 a.m., when a male shot him in the face and leg. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.