Source: Emily Zanotti
Chicago, in the midst of a dramatic spike in shootings and homicides, has once again had a record-setting weekend of violence, this time involving a rush-hour shootout on a crowded major highway.
“So far this weekend, 47 people have been shot, seven fatally in violence across the city,” ABC 7 Chicago reported Sunday. The latest victim, yet again, was a minor — this time, a 15-year-old boy who was killed in a hail of gunfire on the city’s southwest side.
“The teen, identified as Terrance Malden by family, was in the street when a light-colored vehicle pulled up and someone inside fired shots, Chicago police said,” according to ABC 7. “Malden was shot in the back. He was transported to the University of Chicago Hospital in critical condition, and later pronounced dead, Chicago police said.”
A 14-year-old boy was also shot this weekend, on the city’s west side. He was hit in the abdomen and remains in serious condition.
The violence caps off a weeks-long spike in violence in Chicago, which began just before Memorial Day and has continued unabated, despite the city’s increased efforts at controlling violence. Each Monday morning, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot delivers a press conference on the state of the city, and the conferences have lately become a grim announcement of that weekend’s deadly toll.
In July, to date, 32 people have been shot and killed in the city and more than 180 shot and wounded. A number of minors are among the dead, including a 20-month-old boy shot while driving home from the laundromat with his mother.
This weekend’s violence kicked off with a shocking incident — a reported gang-related shooting on the city’s crowded Dan Ryan Expressway during rush hour Friday.
Following an altercation, a “29-year-old man crashed his vehicle near 79th Street on the Dan Ryan Expressway after he was shot while driving in the first block of East 99th Street,” the Chicago Tribune reported Friday. “The shooting happened about 3 p.m. Thursday in the 100 block of East 99th Street. The man heard shots and felt pain. He then proceeded to enter the expressway and crashed around 79th Street, police said.”
After crashing his car, the man, holding his wounds, ran through traffic towards a subway station adjacent to the highway. He was eventually apprehended and taken to the University of Chicago hospital.
Police closed two highways to conduct an investigation.
So far, this weekend, Chicago’s mayor and police chief have been silent on incidents of gun violence. Last week, the mayor, unable to articulate a concrete reason for the spike, blamed lax gun control laws and the coronavirus pandemic. This week, the city has been focused on cracking down on businesses to prevent the spread of the virus and made no announcement about an increase in police presence in targeted neighborhoods.
Chicago, of course, is far from the only city suffering a sudden spike in deadly shootings. Minneapolis, Baltimore, and several other cities are experiencing their own violence spikes.