Deadly Christmas Weekend in Chicago: 12 Dead, Dozens Injured.
Chicago saw yet another wave of violence over Christmas weekend, with double the number of homicides from the holiday weekend last year.
From Friday evening to early Monday morning, 50 people were shot, 12 of them fatally, up from a total of 30 people shot and six killed the same weekend in 2015, reports ABC 7 Chicago.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson in a Monday news briefing attributed the majority of the violence to gang conflicts.
“We now know that the majority of these shootings and homicides were targeted attacks by gangs against potential rival gang members and groups who were at holiday gatherings,” said Johnson.
“These were deliberate and planned shootings by one gang against another,” he went on. “They were targeted knowing fully well that individuals would be at the homes of family and friends celebrating the holidays. This was followed by several acts of retaliation.”
Of the 12 homicides, Johnson said that 90 percent of those who were killed had gang ties.
During the press briefing, the Chicago Police superintendent called for the city’s lawmakers to enact tougher penalties for repeat gun offenders.
“These gun offenders have repeatedly shown us that they’re not going to play by society’s rules,” Johnson said.
He added that Chicago police seized 45 guns over the weekend.
Thanksgiving weekend in Chicago saw nine people killed and 60 injured from gun-related incidents. The number of people injured tripled this year, compared to 20 wounded in 2015, reported MRCTV.
Chicago police said there have been 753 homicides and 3,495 shooting incidents in the Windy City from January 1 to December 25, reports CNN, compared to 478 homicides and 2,393 shooting incidents during the same time period in 2015.
“If anyone thinks this is okay or it’s normal, then you’re wrong,” said Johnson. “Because it’s not okay and it’s not normal.”